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Global major Wabtec tie up for train safety in India after 4G nod for railways

Co-branding at railway stations to generate revenue
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Co-branding at railway stations to generate revenue

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Global rail equipment companies are eyeing business opportunities in India, which recently decided to give 4G spectrum for communication on Indian Railways to help the network adopt safety systems to prevent accidents.

Wabtec, one of global majors in the sector, is keen to tie up with Indian companies in implementing Automatic Train Protection Systems.

The Indian Railways is implementing the Train Collision Avoidance System (TCAS) on its tracks. This indigenous ATP system, developed by the Indian Railways in association with local manufacturers, has already been installed on Lingampalli-Vikarabad-Wadi and Vikarabad-Bidar section (250 Route km) of South Central Railway. Another 1,199 Route km on South Central Railway is also on track.

Wabtec says its 'positive train control' (PTC) launched in 2008, is a proven technology in the United States and is operational on more than 120,000 km of network.

PTC gives directions to the driver on when to slow down. There is another ATP technology called European Train Control System (ETCS), which was also implemented in India on selected tracks on a pilot basis, before it shifted to TCAS.

These systems prevent accidents due to collision, jumping of signals (SPAD, or signal passing at danger, in railway parlance) and over-speeding. It continuously checks the speed of a train and activates emergency brakes if it exceeds the speed limit.

Last week, the Union Cabinet had decided to provide 4G spectrum to the Indian Railways and approved the allotment of 5 MHz in the 700 MHz band to the national transporter, a move that will improve safety and increase the speed of trains. The implementation of TCAS was getting delayed because of the absence of this higher spectrum.

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