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Posted on Dec 15, 06:38PM | IANS
Hyderabad Metro Rail (HMR), one of the largest such projects anywhere in the world, will be India's first to run on the automated Communication Based Train Control System (CBTC) technology, practically a step below the driverless mode.
HMR is also country's first two-track elevated city transit system to be developed under the public-private participation model.
"The choice of CBTC is for enhanced frequency and safety. Most such technologies can be upgraded to driverless," said Jean-Pierre Forestier, senior vice president (transport) Thales, which signed an agreement this week with Indian infrastructure major Larsen and Toubro, for providing signalling and communications systems for the HMR project.
CBTC is almost an automatic train operation where trains are controlled from the central control centre and enhanced safety is provided by applying brakes automatically in case of any mistake by the driver.
Delhi Metro, run on the conventional system, is trying to upgrade to CBTC technology.
Thales will design, build, deliver and manage the installation of the SelTrac communications-based train control solution for HMR.
Fast, secure and reliable communication will also be available throughout the metro network. Broadcast announcements from the control centre, displays in different languages, emergency call lines, CCTV real time surveillance for all stations, depots and tracks will form part of the communication systems.
The and #65533;13-billion defence, aerospace and transport major Thales outbid German major Siemens and Canada's Bombardier, which were also in the fray for the contract.
The success of CBTC has already been proven globally with 30 of the world's largest cities' metro systems using the Thales signalling system.
The L and T HMR, a public-private partnership (PPP) project, is the Indian firm's largest urban development project and is expected to trigger robust economic activity and generate employment in Hyderabad, said M.V. Kotwal, L and T president, heavy engineering.
"There is great complementarity with L and T, which have high technology operations in Europe. We are, therefore, well placed to jointly explore third country markets," said Chairman, Thales International, Reynald Seznec.
Of the USD 3 billion project, about USD 270 million is being deployed by the government as subsidy.
The Thales chairman said collaboration with engineering giant L and T was key to the French firm's long-term ambitions in India.
"If we are not in India, we cannot compete in the global market," Seznec said.