Explained: Mobile Train Radio Communication (MRTC) System
Why in News?
It was on March 1, 2021, when the Western Railway inaugurated a newly commissioned Mobile Train Radio Communication System in Mumbai.
This system would prevent train accidents by effective communication.
What is the Mobile Train Radio Communication System?
- It is a technically advanced communication system. It provides for instant interaction between the train crew, the station master and the control centre.
- The calls can be connected within 300 milliseconds once dialled.
- MTRC acts in a similar way as Air Traffic Control (ARC) does for an aircraft
- The system monitors and tracks and aids in communication to ensure smooth movements of rakes
- This is for the first time something like this has been commissioned by the Indian Railways.
- It has been installed in 90 out of 100 rakes between Churchgate and Virar.
Churchgate - Virar section of Western Railway’s Mumbai suburban section has a high density traffic route. Here the trains run with a headway of almost 3 minutes during major or peak hours. At present, this section has a capacity to transport over 3.4 million passengers on an average through almost 1300 services each day.
MRTC System: Technology Used
Mobile Train Radio Communication system is based on the Terrestrial Trunked Radio (TETRA) Digital technology. It uses TDMA on the Air Interface and Internet Protocol based Network Architecture.
As per media reports Western Railway officers informed, "the MRTC acts in a similar way to that of Air traffic control (ATC) for aircrafts. The system will monitor, track and aid in communication between the trains and the control room thereby ensuring smooth movement of rakes as well as help in preventing adverse events."
Benefits of the MRTC system:
- It enables single touch dialing to call any of the two section train controllers, Dy Train Controller and EMU Controller.
- MTRC system would also be beneficial in getting real time information of train operation during monsoon period
- Auto Call Answer for taxis, cab radios for Motorman and Guards to receive the audio message is enabled in this device.
- Three controller's contact numbers are fed into the phonebook for easy access while dialling.
- Motormen are allowed to directly communicate the defect of EMU to EMU Controllers reducing detention of other trains.
- Motormen and guards of trains can be simultaneously informed through broadcast calls in case of any mishappening
- Also the passengers of trains can be informed through announcements through this system
In case the MTRC phone is busy then on making an emergency call goes to DY.TNL.
Design of Motor Train Radio Communication System:
The provision of the Digital MRTC system had an outlay of INR 5.98 crore which provided warranty for 2 years and the annual maintenance charges for 5 years. The design was provided by IIT and the approval to the new towers was provided by Western Railways headquarter.