Modern Train Control System (MTCS) Level-II to be implemented on 175km Nagpur-Badnera section

NAGPUR: The ‘collision-free’ Modern Train Control System (MTCS) level II is set to be implemented within two years on the 175km Nagpur-Badnera section, making it one of the safest in the country. The Rs.475 crore project is a form of European Train Control System (ETCS), which is a globally recognized system of upgraded signalling and communication to improve safety, speed and punctuality.

The modernization project for signalling system, which includes the Automatic Train Protection System with Long Term Evolution (LTE)-based Mobile Train Radio Communication Technology (MTRC) along with electronic interlocking, is part of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by Indian Railways with RailTel Enterprises Limited (REL) this week.

Apart from Nagpur-Badnera section in Central Railway, the project would be implemented on other stretches too like Renigunta-Yerraguntla (South Central Railway), Vizianagaram-Palasa (East Coast Railway) and Jhansi-Bina section (North Central Railway). All these are among the busiest routes in the nationwide railway networks. The project would be implemented on almost 500 locomotives on the earmarked routes.

The Railway Board is learnt to have taken up the Rs.1,609 crore project to implement the globally acknowledged Indian version of the ETCS (MTCS) to raise the standard of safety of passengers, and increase line capacity with modern signalling and communication system to match international standards.

Maninder Singh Uppal, officiating Divisional Railway Manager (DRM), Central Railways, said the latest system is the upgraded version of the already existing one, which would remove any possibility of collision. “Safety, punctuality and speed would be improved. The train would automatically stop if it crosses a red signal and it would also halt in case there is a possibility of head-on or side-on collisions,” said Uppal.

“If the manual application fails, the brake would be immediately applied after signal passing and danger. The speed of the train would also be reduced automatically depending upon the allowed sectional speed,” he said.

Uppal said the speed and punctuality would both be improved by 20-30%. “The railway traffic movement in the highly congested Nagpur-Badnera section would witness a considerable improvement,” said the senior railway official.

Uppal said the speciality of ETCS level-II is that it would ensure continuous monitoring of the train speed vis-à-vis requirements of stoppage and control based on the status of the signal. “The system works and is based on radio communication system between the loco pilots, guards, base stations and from there to the control centre, with the help of optical fibre cable. Any official within a section operating the train would be reachable through communication set,” he said.

Uppal also said the budget (Rs475 cr) has already been vetted, sanctioned and sent to REL by the zonal railway authorities. “The project would mostly involve experts from international stakeholders,” he said.

Railway Board authorities have said that speedy execution of the project is expected as REL is already engaged in collecting, collating and analysing inputs and feedbacks from industry representatives on various aspects of technology, interfaces, compatibility and inter-operability of various sub-systems.