Metro rail goes on first automatic trial run

Two-way digital communication between train and trackside equipment used to control movement. HMR is the first Indian metro rail implementing the Communication Based Train Control (CBTC) system, the latest railway signalling system with the equipment being supplied by French company Thales.

December 31, 2014 11:59 pm | Updated June 07, 2016 06:08 am IST - HYDERABAD:

Metro rail officials inspecting the project progress during tiral run in Hyderabad on Wednesday.

Metro rail officials inspecting the project progress during tiral run in Hyderabad on Wednesday.

Hyderabad Metro Rail (HMR) project created a new technology record by successfully running a train in Automatic Train Operation (ATO) mode for the first time on Indian soil between Nagole and Mettuguda on Tuesday night.

The 8 km stretch will be the first operational line for the project and currently trial runs are on. Under ATO, a train operates on its own and self controls its movement, speed, performance etc., with automatic application of brakes without the intervention of train driver. The function of the ‘driver’ is only to press a button to close the doors at stations and it is a prelude to completely driverless mode which HMR Metro can upgrade any time it wants, disclosed its Managing Director N.V.S. Reddy on Wednesday.

HMR is the first Indian metro rail implementing the Communication Based Train Control (CBTC) system, the latest railway signalling system with the equipment being supplied by French company Thales, a pioneer in this technology globally. Most metros world over have shifted to CBTC, including the latest Delhi Metro line. It is a radio communication-based system controlling trains movement through continuous two-way digital communication between trains and trackside equipment. Simon Lee, a Hong Kong-based expert is supervising the signalling system build up here.

Six zones

The Operation Control Centre (OCC) in Uppal depot is the nerve centre for remote controlling and operation of the entire 72 km of the elevated project being taken across the three corridors of the twin cities, he pointed out.

The total metro rail system is divided into six zones, each controlled by a zone controller (equipment).

Each train transmits its identity, location, direction and speed to the respective zone controller which calculates safe distance between two trains, breaking distance and authorised train speed with automatic application of brakes in case of over speeding.

Other latest sub-systems like the Automatic Train Protection (ATP), Automatic Train Supervision (ATS), Vehicle on Board Controller, Data Communication System, Solid State Interlocking (SSI) and so on provide fail-safe protection mechanism against train collisions, speed regulation, programmed stopping, door control and other functions, he explained.

Automatic monitoring of train movement and performance remove any possibility of human error and prevent train collisions due to driver passing train beyond danger signal, which can happen in normal railway working. CBTC system facilitates running of trains with one-and-a-half minute (90 second) frequency with very high reliability. It has built in redundancies to take care of failure of any component, Mr. Reddy said.

HMR chief signalling & telecommunications engineer K. Laxman, chief engineer Md. Ziauddin and other senior engineers of L&TMRHL and Thales participated in the test run.

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