RailTel, the Indian Railways’ technical arm, has been awarded the work of a crucial tunnel communication system in the Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla section of the Northern Railway.

RailTel Corporation of India Ltd said in a statement that the total cost of the integrated tunnel communication system (VHF Simplex) aimed at connecting the Kashmir valley with the rest of the country is ₹86.90 crore.

Konkan Railways managed the Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla section, which has 16 tunnels where communication is often interrupted due to poor signal coverage.

“This state-of-the-art integrated tunnel communication system is designed to provide uninterrupted radio communication between hand-held radios inside tunnels to the base station at tunnel control rooms and station masters of adjacent stations,” the RailTel statement said.

“The hand-held devices are provided to the 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 safe and smooth running of trains inside the tunnels, on undoubtedly, one of the most difficult terrains of Indian Railways,” it added.

Puneet Chawla, RailTel’s CMD, said RailTel has the expertise to execute it for improving train operations as well as safety.

“We are already executing similar projects for Panvel-Karjat, Karjat-Lonawala and Kasara-Igatpuri section of Mumbai Division of Central Railway, and Castle Rock-Kulem section (Braganza Ghat) of South Western Railway,” Chawla said.

“We are eyeing more similar projects, and generating good revenue from these niche projects will not only help to diversify the work experience of RailTel but will also enable us to contribute towards nation-building,” he added.

The tunnel communication system project will achieve continuous coverage over the entire length of the tunnel and clear audio throughout with no interference. It will also have reliable system operation under harsh tunnel environmental conditions, trunked radio channels across many bands and ease of system operation and maintenance.

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