The Indian Government has approved a proposal to allot 5MHz spectrum in the 700MHz frequency band to Indian Railways.

The proposal was approved by the Union Cabinet to increase the safety and security of railway operations.

This project is expected to cost nearly $3.42bn (Rs250bn) and will be finished in five years.

Indian Railways will use the allotted spectrum to provide long-term evolution (LTE) based mobile train radio communication across its route.

The deployment of LTE will enable Indian Railways to provide reliable and secure voice, visual and data communication services for operational, safety and security applications.

It will facilitate seamless communication between loco pilots and guards, as well as support modern signalling and train protection systems.

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The technology will also allow Internet of Things (IoT) based remote asset monitoring of coaches, wagons, and locos, along with CCTV cameras’ live video feed.

However, the spectrum will not be used for commercial purposes with usage limited to public safety and security services at stations and in trains.

Separately, Indian Railways has also approved the Train Collision Avoidance System (TCAS).

The technology is an indigenously developed automatic train protection (ATP) system designed to prevent train collisions enhancing passenger safety.

In a statement, the Ministry of Railways said: “It brings a strategic shift in Indian Railways’ operations and maintenance regime.  It will help in improving the safety and increasing the line capacity to accommodate more trains using the existing infrastructure.

“The modern rail network will result in reduced transportation cost and higher efficiency. Also, it will attract multinational industries to set up manufacturing units to fulfil the ‘Make in India’ mission and generate employment.”

Earlier this year, Indian Railways completed the construction of the arch of Chenab Bridge.

Once completed, it will be the highest railway bridge in the world.