Indian Railways has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with RailTel Enterprises (REL), a wholly-owned subsidiary company of RailTel Corporation of India, to upgrade signalling systems.

The scope of modernisation includes Automatic Train Protection System with Long Term Evolution (LTE) based Mobile Train Radio Communication System (MTRC), with the deployment of Electronic Interlocking (indoor) wherever required.

The signalling system will be implemented in four different sections, which are among the busiest routes in the country.

It includes the 165km-long Renigunta-Yerraguntla section of the South Central Railway, the 155km-long Jhansi-Bina section of the North Central Railway, the 145km-long Vizianagaram-Palasa section of the East Coast Railway and the 175km-long Nagpur-Badnera section of the Central Railway.

The implementation of the Automatic Train Protection System and MRTC are expected to improve safety and capacity of these networks, as well as help in maintaining the punctuality of operations.

The MRTC will be deployed utilising LTE backbone to enable connectivity between all rail staff, including drivers, guards and control office.

The news agency quoted the Railway ministry as saying: “This system will also be used for working of the Automatic Train Protection System. Initially, this system will be provided on 500 locomotives.”

Overall, the project is expected to cost Rs16.09bn ($230.5m) and is slated to complete in 24 months.

In February, Indian Railways launched an  information portal to improve promote transparency and accountability. The portal will offer information in 15 different categories, including passenger reservation, unreserved ticketing and grievances.