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Sunday , 29 May 2022

ITS Making Metros Smarter

Rail Solutions for Metro and other services ? ALSTOM

Alstom offers a host of systems and products for metro, mainline and freight rail services. A conventional Distance To Go (DTG) system has already been used in Delhi and Bangalore metro and will be used in the Jaipur metro as well. The company?s state- of-the-art URBALISTM is the world?s first radio based Communication based Train Control (CBTC) system commissioned in 2003 and has all the features and interfaces required for driverless (UTO ? unattended Train Operation) or fully automated (ATO) metro rail operation. It is deployed worldwide on 41 metro rail corridors, in cities like Singapore, Beijing, Sao Paolo, Milan, Lausanne, Shenzhen, Toronto, Mexico and Guangzhou and is offered to Delhi metro for Phase III. The CBTC works on the moving block principle and makes possible running of metro trains with headways of around 85 seconds, thus allowing for increased line capacities. Trains are run with fixed time intervals and can be controlled to arrive or to leave stations with a precision of one second. Trains can also be easily inserted or removed from the timetable. Depending on the selected speed of the train, Urbalis computes the optimum energy saving profile appropriate for it.

For example, if the train cannot use regenerative brake energy because of long train intervals, it uses the coasting of the train to save energy. It ensures constant availability of trains due to the high degree of redundancy of the architecture, large mean time between functional failures and quick detection and rectification of failures whenever they occur. Alstom provides integration and commissioning services for Urbalis on any type or brand of rolling stock and lines, with only minor modifications needed to meet all customer requirements.

The SMARTWAYTM set of products from the company is a conventional trackside signalling solution which comprises track point machines, level crossings, relays and signals. They are used in urban, freight, mainline and high-speed lines. The SMARTLOCK interlocking system interfaces with the ATC system & conventional trackside equipment and ensures train safety on all types of networks. It is compatible with Euro-Interlocking, CENELEC and ERTMS standards and provides a remote maintenance system which minimises downtime & maintenance operations.

ICONISTM is a fully scalable, integrated control centre used for metro rail, mainlines and infrastructure monitoring. It can integrate Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA), on-board and in-station passenger information systems, security systems and maintenance supervision systems. It can also monitor and control all aspects of the network connection between the Automatic Train Control (ATC) system and interlocking. It does this through IconisATS for automated metro train supervision (ATS), IconisCTC for mainlines and IconisSCADA for infrastructure monitoring systems. Using automatic route setting it ensures trains? adherence to schedules. It gives a broad, panoramic view of the network traffic while providing real-time traffic information through time vs. distance graphs and conflict detection functions.

ATLASTM is a signalling and Rail Traffic Management solution fully compatible with ERTMS (European Rail Traffic Management Solution) and ETCS (European Train Control System) standards. With Atlas, trains can receive information from the trackside equipment ? such as safety distances required to be kept between trains and authorised speed and signals / points ahead ? which enables continuous calculation of maximum authorised speeds. This information is transmitted by standardised trackside beacons called Eurobalises.

Signalling and Train Control Services ? Thales Group

Thales Group is providing the train control, signalling, communication and surveillance systems for Mumbai, Hyderabad and other metros.

For the Hyderabad metro, Thales Portugal & Thales India are implementing the communication system whereas Thales Canada and Thales India are implementing the signalling and train control. The train control systems features Thales?s SelTrac CBTC solution and Integrated Communications and Supervision (ICS) systems. The systems will be implemented on the Hyderabad metro rail Lines 1, 2 and 3, covering 72 km of rail which have a total of 66 stations. The SelTrac CBTC solution has already been used in metro rail systems in about 30 cities around the world.

For Mumbai metro, Thales Portugal S.A., in collaboration with Firetide Inc., a leading provider of wireless infrastructure mesh networks, is implementing a real-time, wireless mesh video surveillance network. The network provides onboard video surveillance and broadcast of text message for onboard display. It supports all critical security features such as WEP, WPA2, AES encryption and encapsulation of IP layer data. To enable this, mesh nodes from Firetide will be placed at regular intervals of 500m on the tracks and also on the trains. The system allows communication between the train and ground nodes at 10Mbps speed even at train speeds of 50mph (80kmph). Both inter-mesh and intra-mesh roaming scenarios are supported by the mobility controller, meeting stringent performance requirements. The AutoMesh routing protocol enables link in different scenarios of metro operation. Because of the flexible, modular features of the system, metro service operators can plan and build large-scale mobility solutions.

Metro rail systems are here to stay and grow in India. Events such as Metro Rail Asia are offering high-value networking and knowledge-sharing among important metro authorities and operators. Service providers have plans to introduce new, advanced train control systems. For example, Siemens has planned to introduce the European Train Control System (ETCS). ETCS will have better safety integrity levels (SIL 4) (as per European norms) and interoperability, which is important considering the fact that trackside systems and metro rail solutions have been provided by different suppliers.

The National Mass Transit and Training Research Institute (NMTTRI) has been set up in Mumbai by the MMRDA to impart training and conduct research on mass transit systems. It provides training in key areas such as urban transportation, integrated ticketing, seamless travel across modes, intelligent transportation systems, public transport security and safety & emergency/disaster management. This could perhaps see the design of metro train systems more suited for the Indian context in the near future.


Mangala Chandran
and Rajmohan Kurup

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