Railways' plans to introduce CBTC system on Harbour line fall flat as feature will now be a part of MUTP-III, slated for completion in 2022
Sources said this signalling system is likely to be part of the CST-Panvel elevated line on which 19 AC trains of 12 coaches each will operate. PIC FOR REPRESENTATION
Looks like the Railways' plans to introduce the Communications-based Train Control (CBTC) system in local trains will be pushed further into the future, as it will now be implemented only in the Mumbai Urban Transport Project (MUTP-III), which is slated for completion by 2022.
The Railways has been planning to introduce the feature for the last two to three years to improve the signalling system of the Mumbai suburban railway. Their initial plan of having it on the Harbour line has fallen flat. Sources now are saying that it will be implemented under MUTP-3 though the railway ministry has not given it any approval.
Vital safety aspect
Under CBTC, the signalling system will be placed at the ends of local trains with brakes and speed functioning based on the distance between two trains. "As of now, CBTC, which is part of MUTP-III, is yet to be approved," Akhil Agrawal, Director General (Signal and Telecom), Railway Board told mid-day.
Agrawal will be in Mumbai on June 22 at a seminar to discuss the various improvements needed in the signalling system, which is a vital safety aspect. "Several issues related to signalling system, which is needed for Mumbai, shall be discussed at the seminar," said Praveen Bajpai, general secretary, CRMS. CBTC will also form a part of the discussions at the seminar.
The Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation (MRVC), as part of MUTP-III, will do the project. Sources in the railways said that they had initially planned to renew the entire signalling system of the Harbour line. But now, it has been postponed in this new Rs 11,000 crore project, wherein air conditioned locals have also been planned.
New system in new rakes
The officials said they could fix this signalling system into the new rakes rather than retrofitting it in the existing rakes. The proposed cost of CBTC system is around Rs 4,000 crore. It is considered more efficient than the current practice of trains following stationary signals installed along railway tracks.
Sources said this signalling system is likely to be part of the CST-Panvel elevated line on which 19 AC trains of 12 coaches each will operate. The NITI Aayog had recommended that CBTC be taken up on at least one route in Mumbai. CBTC would cost Rs 5,677 crore if it is undertaken on the slow line of CST to Kalyan on Central Railway and Rs 4,223 crore on the Churchgate to Virar route on Western Railway.
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