For the first time, Indian Railways is using a state-of-the-art integrated tunnel communication system in the Dharam-Banihal section of the Jammu-Baramulla rail line.
The integrated tunnel communication system will be installed at an estimated cost of Rs 210.77 crore to boost the safety of train operations.
RailTel, a public sector undertaking of the railways, has bagged the contract for installing a state-of-the-art integrated tunnel communication system in the Dharam-Banihal section. The communication technology being used in the project is a first for Indian Railways.
The job contract includes design, supply, testing, and commissioning of tunnel communication system consisting of emergency call and service telephone, CCTV, tunnel radio, and public address system in a tunnel environment.
RailTel has the expertise to execute such high-tech modern projects for improving train operation as well as safety.
This section is a part of the Katra-Banihal section of the Firozpur Division of Northern Railway where railway connectivity work is going on in full swing.
On this particular section of Dharam-Banihal, IRCON International Ltd, another PSU of the railways is executing the project.
In the Katra-Dharam corridor, which is part of the Katra-Banihal section, the rail connectivity project is being executed by another railway PSU — Konkan Railway Corporation.
Last month, RailTel bagged the order for installing an integrated tunnel communication project costing Rs 86.90 crore from Konkan Railway Corporation for the Katra-Dharam section.
RailTel has now been entrusted with the implementation of the tunnel communication project for the entire Katra-Banihal section at a total cost of Rs 297.67 crore.
Communication inside the tunnels is interrupted due to poor signal coverage, which can hamper train operation and maintenance activities.
This state-of-the-art integrated tunnel communication system is designed to provide uninterrupted radio communication between handheld radios inside the tunnel, to the base station at tunnel control rooms, and station masters of adjacent stations.
The handheld devices are provided to staff involved in construction/maintenance activities and train operations. The communication of all channels in the tunnel is independent, simultaneous, and failure-free.
Completion of this work will ensure the safe and smooth running of trains inside the tunnels on, undoubtedly, one of the most difficult terrains of Indian Railways.
This tunnel communication project will achieve continuous coverage over the entire length of the tunnel, clear audio throughout with no interference, reliable system operation under harsh tunnel environmental conditions, trunked radio channels across many bands, and ease of system operation and maintenance.
The 272-km Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla rail line aims to provide an alternative surface link between Kashmir and the rest of the country.
Currently, the sections from Jammu to Katra and Banihal to Baramulla have been built and are operational. The remaining intervening track from Katra to Banihal is under execution and is targeted for completion by next year.
The 111 km long Katra-Banihal section consists of 97 km tunnels. Hence, the most effective and efficient tunnel communication is very crucial for the successful and smooth train operation in this section. The tallest bridge in the world is also being built on Katra-Banihal section.