Indian Railways’ Western Railway zone has introduced a mobile train radio communication (MTRC) system to facilitate direct and continuous communication between the train crew and the control centre and station master.

Through effective communication, this technologically advanced system will help in averting train accidents.

A senior railway official was quoted by Livemint as saying: “This system uses the lowest time to connect calls i.e. 300 milliseconds and it is the first time that MTRC is commissioned in India.

“The MRTC acts in a similar way to that of air traffic control (ATC) for aircraft. 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.”

This new communication system has already been deployed in 105 rakes, operating between Churchgate to Virar over Mumbai’s suburban segment.

The current conventional VHF-based communication system, named Mobile and CUG, lacks the capability of enabling interaction between the train crew and the controllers.

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The new system can also provide real-time information on train operation during the monsoon season.

With a two-year warranty and five years of annual maintenance charges (AMC), the new digital MTRC system has been supplied at a cost of approximately $820,000.

This newly commissioned system will be integrated with the ongoing Train Management System.

The integration will allow controllers to connect with the driver and guard via train number and cab number code.

Based on Terrestrial Trunk Radio (TETRA) technology, the system uses TDMA on air interface and IP-based network architecture, along with Distributed Switching Architecture.

The technology also features single-touch dialling, as well as emergency and broadcast calling capabilities.

Instances of trespassing and knockdowns can also be communicated instantly on notice, which can save lives and regulate trains, thereby minimising detentions of other trains.