Network getting upgraded, target for commissioning Dedicated Freight Corridor is 2021
Praggya Guptaa | November 28, 2019 | New Delhi
As a part of the modernization of the signalling system, the ministry of railways has decided in principle that it will have the automatic protection system on its entire network of 68,000 km, and 1,300 route km are going for ‘Tikas’, the railways’ own indigenous technology.
“Bids have been finalized and the letter of acceptance has been issued,” Railway Board chairman Vinod Kumar Yadav said on the occasion of the 20th foundation day of RailTel on November 25.
Raising concern for the S&T Department and RailTel, he said there is a need to find interoperability between ‘Tikas’ and ETCS (European Train Control System) level 2 so that a decision can be made that on the high-density network and highly utilized network can go for ETCS level 2 and for other networks can go for ‘Tikas’.
Sharing the future plans, he elaborated, “The railway has set targets to develop the infrastructure in such a way that in coming five-10 years we should be able to develop our capacity beyond the demand. In this direction, soon we are going to complete the Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC) and our target is 2021.”
The railways has commissioned 200 km of DFC and another 800 km will be commissioned by March 2020 and the entire DFC will be commissioned in two years, he said. “With the commissioning of the eastern and western DFC, we are going to shift most of the freight traffic to the freight corridor and the existing Delhi-Mumbai and Delhi-Kolkata sections, which are around 3000 km, are basically a part of our high-density network. Out of the five high-density networks these two are the most congested.”
The railways envisages using the existing network for passenger traffic and have sanctioned the work for upgradation of these two networks for the speed of 260 km per hour, and one of the most important components in upgradation of these two networks is the provisioning of ETCS level 2. “Again we are looking for RailTel that we should be able to provide ETCS level 2 on 3,000 km of network in three-four years and to achieve that we have already sanctioned a pilot phase of 650 km for which bids have already been invited by RailTel.”
Yadav complimented RaiTel for implementing the first phase of e-office (which included 30 divisions and all zonal headquarters and some other establishments) well ahead of time. “Today we have gone beyond phase 1 and more than 50,000 users and 50 railways establishment are on e-office. RailTel has already started working on the next phase and we are sure by end of this financial year we will be able to transform all the establishments of Indian railways on e-office,” he said.
He also spoke of how RailTel deployed Wi-Fi without incurring any cost on the railways. “No investment has been done by the ministry of railways on this. For the first 1,500 stations we tied up with Google on 50:50 basis. Similarly we tied up with companies and Wi-Fi deployed under their CSR with facilitation by RailTel.”
Moreover, for maintenance of Wi-Fi, RailTel is eyeing to monetise the Wi-Fi networks with advertisements. “We did not pay anything as capex and now for opex, they are going to do it with advertisement over Wi-Fi. So 5,400 Wi-Fi (spots) will be maintained properly.”
The railways has decided to install CCTV cameras at all stations and also in some of the trains. “We will be getting all those feeds at the central location with all these Wi-Fi facilities provided at the station. For some selected trains in the first phase we are providing CCTV in the corridor area and common area. Keeping the privacy issue in mind, we will not provide it inside the cabin. RailTel has already opened the bids and will soon finalise it.”
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