First of its kind over Indian Railways, will enable direct communication between the crew of EMU train with the Control Centre and Broadcast Call by Control to Passengers and also between all EMU cabs

Alok Kansal – General Manager of Western Railway inaugurated the new Mobile Train Radio Communication (MTRC) System for suburban trains between Churchgate to Virar over Mumbai’s suburban section, on Monday, 1st March, 2021 at Divisional Railway Manager’s Office, Mumbai Central. This modern system state-of-the-art technology system is a First of its kind over Indian Railways, which will enable several possibilities of communication between the crew of EMU train with the Control Centre as well as enable Broadcast Call by Control to Passengers and also between all EMU cabs.

According to a press release issued by Sumit Thakur – Chief Public Relations Officer of Western Railway, after the inauguration a short video showcasing the features & the working of the MTRC system was shown followed by a presentation on the same. Thereafter, GM Kansal briefed the media about the various advantages of the newly introduced system. He stated that the Mobile Train Radio Communication system is an effective and a technologically advanced communication system which can play an intrinsic role in preventing train accidents through effective communication.

It facilitates an instant and constant interaction of train crew with the Control Centre and the Station Master. This system uses lowest time to connect calls i.e 300 milliseconds and it is the first time that MTRC is commissioned in India. It is a historic move over the Indian Railways. He further added that the MRTC acts in a similar way to that of Air traffic control (ATC) for aircrafts.

The system will monitor, track and aid in communication between the trains and the control room thereby ensuring smooth movement of rakes as well as help in preventing adverse events. The new system has already been installed in 105 rakes of W. Rly. GM also apprised about the other ongoing projects by W. Rly in Mumbai suburban section for enhancing the speed, safety & providing better convenience to the commuters. The function was also attended by concerned Principal Heads of Departments and Divisional Railway Manager of Mumbai Central division.

Giving further details on the technology, Thakur informed that the Churchgate – Virar section (60 km) of W. Rly’s Mumbai suburban section is a high density traffic route where trains run with headway of approx 3 minutes in peak hours. Presently, this section has a capacity to transport over 3.4 million passengers every day by operating over 1300 services each day. The earlier existing conventional VHF based communication system, Mobile & CUG had its limitations & does not give the facility for communication between the Crew of the running train and the controllers operating from the control center at Mumbai. This system will also help in getting real time information of train operation during monsoon period.

Thakur stated that the provision of new Digital MTRC system was sanctioned at the cost of Rs. 5.98 crore with two years warranty & five years Annual Maintenance Charges (AMC). Various licenses also had to be obtained for this system viz. CMRTS License, WPC License for Frequencies, Import License, SACFA License for Towers (Clearance required from Airport Authority and From Defense), and Operating License for entire System. The design & approval for new Towers was obtained by IIT & Western Railways HQ.

The newly commissioned system is an integrated system with the ongoing Train Management System that will enable controllers to communicate with Driver and Guard by using the train number as well as cab number code. The MTRC System is TETRA (Terrestrial Trunk Radio) based Digital technology; employing TDMA on Air Interface and Internet Protocol based Network Architecture with Distributed Switching Architecture.

The salient features of the technology are given as under:

Benefits of Mobile Train Radio Communication (MTRC) System

  • Single touch dialing to call any of the Two Section Train Controllers, Dy. Train Controller, EMU Controller and Emergency call with over-ride facility to call Dy.CTNL.
  • Auto Call Answer for Cab Radios for Motorman and Guards to receive only audio (Only from Controllers and call from another cab of same rake)
  • Contact numbers of three controllers (TPC, SIG and TMS) are fed into the phonebook for easy access while dialing.
  • Motorman can directly communicate defect of EMU to EMU Controller which reduces detention of other trains.
  • In cases wherein trains are held up, motormen and guards of trains can be simultaneously informed through broadcast calls, also passengers of trains can be informed through announcement through this system.
  • Also, in any unusual situation i.e. if the called MTRC phone is busy then on making emergency call the overriding feature the speech will get through and communication will be established.
  • Emergency call goes to DY.TNL.
    Cases of Trespassing & knockdowns can be communicated immediately on notice which helps in utilizing the precious moments of golden hour to save the life and to regulate trains to minimize detentions of other trains.

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