A state-of-the-art automated signalling system used in many rail systems across the world is now being offered to India. Called the Computer-Based Train Control System and the Integrated Communication and Supervision System,the twin technology allows trains to operate without a driver while exponentially reducing the risk of accidents.
Thales,a French software giant operating the signalling system in Europe,USA and in the longest driver-less metro network in the world in Dubai,now plans to bid for Delhi,Hyderabad and Kolkata metro projects.
Eric Lenseigne,Thales India director,said,In this system,trains talk to each other… so risk of collision is practically eliminated and the frequencies can be increased much beyond what is possible in manned vehicles.
With the spate of suicides in metro tracks in the capital,authorities plan to introduce another safety measure transparent screen doors that cut travellers access to the tracks. The Dubai metro,which has implemented this measure,boasts of zero fatal accidents.
In February,the Sam Pitroda committee,in an overhaul plan for the Indian Railways,suggested investment of Rs 822,671 crore for modernisation,including Rs 20,000 crore for upgradation of the signalling system and an Rs 20,000 crore for advanced signalling system for bullet trains.
Thales provides technology in other areas to Delhi Metro,Versoya-Andheri-Ghatkopar metro corridor and Bengaluru metro.
The reporter was a guest of the Thales group in Dubai