With the current block signalling system on the 79km Kobuchizawa - Komoro line, the driver controls the lineside signals using switches installed in the train while the train control system is based on trackside cables.
The current system transmits information such as emergency brake information according to the signal conditions from the ground mounted equipment. With the new system, the train creates a speed check pattern by transmitting the signal conditions wirelessly. The train constantly checks its own speed, and if it exceeds the speed limit on a particular section of track, the train brakes automatically.
The new system employs devices that automatically control signals based on train schedules. This makes it possible to manage train operation using commands and improve operating flexibility.
The new wireless train control system will allow the train and the ground equipment to perform two-way wireless communication, making it possible to reduce the amount of trackside equipment needed and consolidate the interlockings installed at each station into one location. JR East expects this to improve the functioning of the block signalling and train control systems, and thereby improve safety and reliability.