State-run Indian Railways is now looking at implementing newer technological standards to make train delays a thing of the past, starting with the ancient system of track-side signals on its network.
According to a report by The Economic Times, the Railways is looking at implementing the European Train Control System (ETCS) level-2 (ETCS-2) on a trial basis to improve speeds along the existing network.
The implementation of the ETCS in India will take place on the 830 km-long Delhi-Mughalsarai (Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay Junction) section in North India which is among the busier sections and also the line most notorious for delays. The Railways hopes for either Bombardier or Alstom to bid for the section.
ETCS-2 relies on both trackside equipment as well as equipment within the train cab that allows for trains to operate on shorter blocks on tracks. It also factors in speed of the train and thus enables more trains to run on the same track. Trackside equipment is used to detect the location and speed of the train and the signal details is then communicated to the train driver through the equipment inside the train.
With ETCS-2, trains can run with blocks as short as 500m, thus paving the way for more trains to use the tracks one after the other.