Hyderabad metro rail will be the first in the country to run on fully automated Communication Based Train Control System (CBTC) technology, practically a step below driverless function, for enhanced frequency and safety, announced L&T Metro Rail Hyderabad (L&TMRH) on Friday.

The concessionaire has also stated that the signalling and train control contract was awarded to Thales Canada & Thales India while the communication system contract was given to Thales Portugal & Thales India. “These two are major decisions,” said L&TMRH chief executive and managing director V.B. Gadgil, but he refused to reveal the contract value.

The contract value will be decided only after the designs are determined, he said, at a press conference flanked by Hyderabad Metro Rail Managing Director N.V.S. Reddy.

Delhi Metro run on conventional system is trying to upgrade to this technology, informed Mr. Reddy.

CBTC is almost an automatic train operation where trains are controlled from the central control centre and enhanced safety is provided by applying brakes automatically in the event any mistake by the driver.

Fast, secure and reliable communication will also be available throughout the metro network, including the staff and the passengers.

Broadcast announcements from the control centre, displays in different languages, emergency call lines, CCTV real time surveillance for all stations, depots and tracks will form part of the communication systems.