Indian Railways to spend Rs 2002 crore for telecom and signaling in 2012-13

Telecom Lead India: Indian Railways has allocated Rs 2,002 crore in 2012-13 for telecom and signaling. This is more than double the allocation of the current year and the highest ever. The main benefit of the project will go to RailTel Corporation.

The total cost of various signaling and telecom works has been estimated to be Rs 39,110 crore in the next 5 years.

According to the Railways Budget presented on Wednesday, the excess expenditure in railways projects can be attributed due to excess expenditure under gauge conversion, traffic facilities, research, rolling stock, track renewals, bridge works, signaling and telecommunication works, and others.

According to a an Indian Railways report in 2010-11, the Railways ministry is considering mobile train radio communication, extension of optical fiber cable (OFC) over the entire route, IP-based train control communication, voice network modernization and replacement of overhead alignment with underground cables/OFCs as some of the measures to improve reliability of the communication system and enhance the capability of the transport system.

Indian Railwayss has about 200 major electronic exchanges across the country for administrative purpose. These are all Time Division Multiplexing (TDM) based which is a technology on its way out. The voice network of Railwayss will thus, be migrated to IP using Voice over IP (VOIP) technologies. This will provide the advantage of communication from anywhere to anywhere in a seamless manner.


Anticipated cost of providing this system on major locations will be about Rs 70 crore. By 2012-13, the backbone of the Railwayss voice network shall be upgraded to VoIP along with upgradation of the zonal exchanges with this technology. Modernization of the balance network will be done in a phased manner at an anticipated cost of Rs 500 crore.


Investment in telecom and signaling is important as gross rail traffic is likely to increase by Rs 28,635 crore to Rs 132,552 crore in 2012-13.

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