New Delhi: A cab signalling system similar to the European Train Control System and conversion of mechanical system to electronic interlocking in about 5000 stations are among the measures proposed by the Sam Pitroda committee on modernisation of railways.

Constituted by Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi in September last year, the committee headed by technocrat Pitroda, is likely to submit its report next week recommending massive upgradation of signalling, tracks, rolling stock, stations and terminals at an estimated cost over Rs 50,000 crore over the next five years.

Cab signalling system, the most advanced system prevalent in Europe, enables the loco pilot to see the incoming signal in his cabin.

Besides the panel has sought to expedite the installation of Train Protection Warning System on busy lines to prevent accidents.

The other members of the expert committee include Deepak Parekh, Chairman, HDFC Bank; MS Verma, former Chairman SBI; Professor Raghuram, IIM-Ahmedabad; Dr Rajiv Lal, MD, IDFC and Vinayak Chatterjee, Chairman, Feedback, Infrastructure Services.

The expert panel has suggested Rs 10,000 crore for investment in infrastructure in the next fiscal coinciding with the 12th Five-Year Plan.

Trivedi has maintained that existing infrastructure in railways has outlived its utility and there is strong need of upgradation.

"The present railway system has outlived its utility. We are in some kind of Victorian age as far as the railways are concerned. Signalling is archaic. We have to take a big leap to embark upon a new generation," he had said.

The pitroda panel has recommended modern signaling technologies for maximizing track utilization and high speed operations with safety.

Acknowledging the railways' prevailing condition, the expert group has recommended that there is a need for the government to spend Rs 5.6 lakh crore to modernise the national transporter. The 12th Five-Year Plan has already estimated an outlay of Rs 1.83 lakh crore for it.

Addressing issues relating to public-private partnership, the panel has estimated a total investment of Rs 358,315 crore in PPP initiatives of the railways, in which Rs 302,315 crore would be invested by private players.

The setting up of locomotive plants, dedicated freight corridors, modernisation of stations, port connectivity are some major PPP projects of railways.

Since the Railways are facing a financial crisis, PPP projects play a crucial role to attract private players.

The panel has also envisaged energy saving projects through PPP ventures.