All the upcoming Metro lines, including the East-West corridor for which some of the rakes have arrived, will have driverless trains.
Popularly known as “driverless technology”, the communication-based train control (CBTC) system equips Metro trains to run without human intervention. East-West Metro will, however, have drivers for now to instil confidence in passengers. The other corridors are also likely to have drivers, at least in the initial years. Accordingly, it has also been decided that all the new stations will have platform screen doors, which will be integrated with the automatic CBTC software, an upgraded signalling system that uses telecommunication and is more precise than other railway technology used so far. The operations will be monitored from a centralized control centre.
The new plans to have CBTC system on all the new Metro lines in the city was taken during a marathon meeting between Metro railway and Rail Vikas Nigam Limited (RVNL) officials at Metro Rail Bhavan on Friday. Considering its long-term benefits of the CBTC, officials said the latest technology would be used in Kolkata, much like that on Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), which adopted the driverless technology last year. “The CBCT will integrate the signalling system and platform screen doors with the train’s braking system, power and other vital functions,” a railway official said.
In the existing Kolkata Metro, when one train is on the tracks, the one behind it is not allowed to move until there is a permissible distance; till then, the signal remains red. In CBTC, there won’t be any signal posts. “Once operations are streamlined, the computer-based signalling will allow trains to run at a gap of one-and-a-half minutes of each other,” the official said. The trains will run based on the system’s communication with the signalling software. Therefore, a train won’t move unless the other train is at a permissible distance. Even if two trains come close to each other, a much upgraded safety system will be in place to avert any untoward incident.
Around 64 km of Metro tracks will be built in Kolkata. The corridors include Baranagar-Barrackpore & Dakshineshwar (14.5km), Dum Dum Airport-New Garia via Rajarhat (32km) and Joka-BBD Bagh via Majerhat (16.7km). Work is yet to begin on the Baranagar-Barrackpore corridor. “But when it does start, CBTC will be adopted on the trains,” a senior Metro official said at the end of the meeting.
Source: Times of India