Indian Railways has selected the European firm NXP Semiconductors to power contactless smart cards for its automatic ticketing system.

The system uses automatic ticket vending machines produced by the railway’s IT Centre for Railway Information Systems (CRIS).

NXP will provide its microcontroller-based chip technology MIFARE DESFire to drive the contactless smart cards for the fare system.

NXP will work with Indian card and inlay manufacturer Siepmann’s Card Systems for nearly 6,500,000 contactless cards over a one-year period.

The system will be installed in five Indian cities, namely New Delhi, Secunderabad, Kolkata, Bhubaneswar and Pune.

The installation is expected to begin in September 2009 beginning with two cities.

The automatic fare system is part of Indian Railways’ plan to upgrade its traditional paper-based ticketing systems with a more efficient and economical and less time-consuming system.