Communication-based train control (CBTC) system likely

The railways are toying with an ambitious plan of changing the face of the Mumbai suburban railway traffic network, courtesy a communication-based train control (CBTC) system.

The CBTC gives the exact position, speed, breaking distance and other information of a train service more accurately than the traditional signalling system.

If things go as planned, say experts, trains on a route will run in less than two minutes, and thereby cut down on the number of commuters jostling for space.

The idea was mooted at a convention at Delhi on ‘Modern Train Control for Capacity and Safety Enhancement. Kul Bhushan, a member of the railway board (electrical), said, “The railways are considering provisions of the CBTC system for running trains at close headways of about two minutes to meet the increased commuter traffic requirements.”

The Mumbai suburban railway system has reportedly the highest passenger density in the world, as it carries more than 7.5 million passengers each day.

The traditional system of signalling is based on track sections, each identified by ‘fixed blocks’. A signal on a block does not allow a train to pass till the block is occupied by it. A second train is allowed on the block only after the first one has gone on to the next block.

With the CBTC, though, a train will keep the control room in the loop on its speed, position, breaking distance and other details at all times. The control room will then ask other trains to adjust their movement according to the one ahead and thereby, keep a safe distance.

ICF to supply power saver trains to Mumbai suburban railway

CHENNAI: The Integral Coach Factory (ICF), Chennai, formally commenced supply of electrical multiple unit trains (EMU) with air-conditioned driver’s cab and forced passenger ventilation system, to Mumbai suburban
railway, on Monday. Union minister of state for railways R Velu flagged off the trains, which have been fitted with a regenerative braking system that saves power by 30% for the operator.

ICF has been the sole supplier of dual voltage EMUs for the transition of
Mumbai’s suburban rail system from 1500 V DC to 25 KV AC power. Its forced passenger ventilation systems, which pump in 16000 cubic metres of fresh air every hour, are expected provide relief in peak hours when the coaches with capacity for 100 passengers carry 600.

The company, which has a turnout rate of one coach per week, is committed to supplying 177 9-car rakes in phase I. Of this, 101 rakes would be purchased on world bank funding, and the rest by railway funding. “At the completion of phase
I, Mumbai suburban railway would save 20 crore units of power and Rs.90 crore annually, by using our power saving braking systems,” said an ICF spokesperson.

These coaches are also eligible for Rs.12 crore worth of carbon credits
annually, for which applications have been sent to the United Nations convention for climate change.

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