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Mumbai local trains get system modelled on air traffic control

In a move meant to increase the safety of passengers and the first of its kind on the Indian railways suburban network, a mobile train communication system was introduced on the Western Railway (WR) on Monday
By Aroosa Ahmed, Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON MAR 02, 2021 12:58 AM IST

In a move meant to increase the safety of passengers and the first of its kind on the Indian railways suburban network, a mobile train communication system was introduced on the Western Railway (WR) on Monday. This system will enable the crew (motorman and guard) of Mumbai’s local trains to directly communicate with the WR control room, similar to communication between pilots of an aircraft with air traffic control (ATC). The system also allows the control room to contact local train crew and exchange updates about operations.

Presently, the train crew contacts the nearest the assistant station manager, who then contacts the control room, during any rail emergency.

Now, a one-touch dial will be used in case of emergencies, including railway accidents, waterlogged tracks and other disruptions.

Through the system, the passengers will also be informed about any disruptions inside local train compartments. “The system will also help in identifying if level-crossing gates are opened or closed. Direct connection with the motorman and guard can be established by the railway control room.” said Alok Kansal, general manager, WR.

The system has been installed in motorman and guard cabins of 100 local trains. Further, global positioning systems (GPS) will be used to track train movements. The system has been introduced between Churchgate and Virar railway stations and costs 5.98 crore. Six towers have been placed between Churchgate and Virar. The project was sanctioned in 2013, but took time for implementation owing to permission required to place mobile towers.

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