Kolkata, February 25: Terming it as the first to have metro facility incorporated in the State, Kolkata metros is all set to get the much needed modern makeover. The East-West metro will debut its new makeover with new rakes and will be outfitted with the latest state of art technology this year.
There will be six coaches, while some of the latest features include push-button start and stop, advanced automation. Along with this it has track-synced safe signaling system and a remote operation hub to operate an ATC tower of an airport. The rakes are being manufactured by Bengaluru based BEML (Bharat Earth Movers Limited).
The new metro has facilities that point towards reducing manual involvement to a minimum level. Currently Kolkata Metro rakes have a driver and a guard each, but now these new trains on the East-West route will have drivers only. Additionally, there will be platform and train cameras which will assist the drivers to close the doors with the touch of a button once all passengers have boarded.
The fundamental operative difference between the current rakes and the new rakes is that the old rakes have a lever, which brings the engine to life and makes the rake move. The lever is put to neutral, once the train reaches optimum speed, and the train approaches a station, the lever is pulled again, making it halt. New rakes ensure the ride is entirely automated, the only thing the driver needs to do, is to start the train and close the doors.
Like the airport has an ATC, similarly the East-West Metro will have an operations control centre. The four surveillance cameras in each compartment can be monitored in real time at the control centre. Platform cameras will also send a live feed to the centre. Personnel at this hub will track train movement on a radar-like screen and will be in touch with the driver through voice communication.
The East-West Metro will have a new communication-based train control and signalling system, that uses telecommunication technology. This is supposed to be more precise, and an automated system with no signal posts or fixed blocks mean that a train will pick up the signal from the track on which it runs. Only when the train moves, does that portion of the track become available for the next one.
Automatic signalling systems, central command hubs, an emergency braking system, and a host of new features, are sure to make the new East-West Metro line a benchmark in urban commute.