Chennai Metro

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Not to be confused with Chennai Metropolitan Area.
For the elevated railway in Chennai, see Mass Rapid Transit System (Chennai).
Chennai Metro Rail
Chennai metro.png
Overview
Native name சென்னை மெட்ரோ ரயில்
Owner Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL)[1]
Locale Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
Transit type Rapid Transit
Number of lines 2 (Phase I)
Number of stations 42 (Phase I)
Chief executive Pankaj Kumar Bansal, MD[2]
Website http://www.chennaimetrorail.gov.in/
Operation
Operation will start March 2015
Operator(s) CMRL
Number of vehicles 42 (Phase I)
Train length 86.5 m (284 ft)
Technical
System length 45.1 km (28.02 mi) (Phase I)
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge
Electrification 25 kV, 50 Hz AC through overhead catenary
Top speed 80 km/h (50 mph)
System map
Schematic diagram of Chennai Metro's lines.

The Chennai Metro Rail is a rapid transit system under construction in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India. Phase I of the project, which consists of two corridors covering a length of 45.1 kilometres (28.0 mi), is under construction. The elevated section of the project is scheduled to be operational by spring 2015 and the entire project is scheduled to be completed by the financial year 2014–2015. About 55% of the corridors in Phase I are underground and the remaining corridors are elevated.

Upon completion, Chennai Metro Rail would be the first metro project in the country that will integrate other public transportation systems. The project is expected to reduce the commuting time by 75 per cent from one end of the city to another.[3] The state and central governments are also working together for the CMRL to takeover the Mass Rapid Transport System (MRTS) so that the latter will get a new shot of blood with modernised stations, integrated ticketing systems, better facilities for passengers, increased frequency of services taking into consideration passenger demands, and also lead to better maintenance.[4]

Background[edit]

Chennai formerly Madras, is the fourth largest metropolitan city in India. In recent years, the population has risen rapidly and the city has thus required reliable and safe transportation. The city has multiple modes of transportation including an extensive bus system run by the Chennai MTC. The transportation network is augmented by the Chennai suburban railway network run by the Southern Railway. Furthermore, the Southern Railway runs the Chennai Mass Rapid Transit System, an elevated metropolitan railway system was sanctioned in 1984 to relieve congestion in central Madras. Despite the improvement measures that were made, traffic congestion has continued to be an issue for both the residents and the city government. As a result, the Chennai Corporation has decided to implement the Chennai Metro project which will provide another mode of transportation for Chennai. Mr K. Rajaraman IAS, 1989 Batch Officer of Tamil Nadu Cadre has been named as the managing director of CMRL.

Design[edit]

The lines of Chennai Metro are double-tracked ones. The average height of the tracks will be 12 m, which increases at two points, namely, above the Vadapalani flyover where it reaches about 18 m and over the Kathipara grade separator where the height reaches a maximum of about 25 m. The underground stretch will run at a depth of 17 m below the street level. The Metro corridor accommodates a complex structure over the Kathipara grade separator. Technically called the balanced cantilever, it is a bridge-like structure at a height of about 25 m above the street, connecting the Metro corridor on both sides of the grade separator.[5] Between Officers' Training Academy (OTA) and Meenambakkam, the metro rail network runs for a distance of 10 metres below the ground and from Meenambakkam rises above the ground again as an elevated stretch till Chennai airport.[6]

While at other places the maximum distance between two piers is 32 m, the viaduct at the Kathipara Junction lies over the grade separator without a pillar for 75 m, which is the longest span without piers in the entire system. The two adjacent piers on either side of this pillarless span too are longer than usual at 49 m and 53 m.[7] The section between Guindy and Little Mount on Corridor 1 runs on a 105-metre-long iron bridge above the Guindy–Saidapet suburban railway line.[8]

In the underground section, a walkway that runs along the length of every tunnel has been built. There are cross passages built at every 250 metres along the walkway.[9] Cross passages acts as a connecting link between the twin tunnels chiefly for the purpose of safe evacuation of passengers at the time of an emergency. They also serve as a convenient way from the maintenance staff to move between tunnels. In view of its importance for commuter safety, provision of cross passage is mandatory as apart of compliance to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) regulation. In case of an emergency, commuters can take the walkway and use the cross passage to move to the adjacent tunnel.[9]

When operational, the average speed is expected to be 35 km/h and maximum speed at 80 km/h[10] The trains are connected to the grid via overhead electric cables and are equipped with regenerative braking and have the capacity to recover 30–35 per cent of the energy during braking.[11]

Stations[edit]

A total of 42 stations have been planned along the two lines. As many as 20 stations are underground and 12 are elevated. Of these, the Chennai Central (underground) and Alandur (elevated) are common for both the corridors and serve as interchange stations.

All metro stations are being constructed as disabled friendly and elderly friendly, with automatic fare collection system, automatic announcement system, electronic information display boards, escalators, lifts, and toilets.[12] The stations comply with the 'Guidelines and Space Standards for Barrier Free Built Environment for Disabled and Elderly Persons' given by the ministry of urban development. Disabled-friendly amenities include non-slippery flooring, bumpy tiles to aid visually impaired persons, accessible toilets and ticket counters to help disabled persons. Lifts too will be equipped with grip-rails, audio announcements and Braille facilities.[13] Elevated stations will have shopping malls and parking space, with additional space for future growth. Wi-Fi facility is also being planned at some of the stations. Underground stations will be air-conditioned and will have boosters to amp up cellphone signals within the premises.[12] The elevated corridor will have a total of 53 lifts and 89 escalators.[14]

Underground stations will have two levels, namely, a platform level and a concourse level. A mezzazine (additional level) in between the two has been planned where the depth of the station is greater. Platform level of the stations will have space for the commuters to assemble during normal operations, delays and emergency situation. The concourse level will be divided into paid and unpaid area and will also house an automatic fare collection system. The unpaid area provides the commuters with facilities such as access to the station, travel information and tickets counters. Automatic ticket gates with scanners provide access to the platforms, which is a common feature at underground and elevated stations.[12] The underground stations will have an average width of 220 to 390 metres and will go up to 50 feet deep from the ground level.[15]

The elevated stations will have three levels, namely, street, concourse and platform. Street level of the stations will have entry and exit, service rooms for diesel generators and transformers. Concourse level of the stations will be over 5.65 metres above the street level and will have station control room, ticketing counters, ticket gates. The platform for boarding trains will be around 12.6 meters above the street level.[12]

Of the stations, Chennai Central, spread over 70,000 sq m, will be the largest, followed by St. Thomas Mount, Shenoy Nagar, Gemini and Washermenpet. SIDCO station in Guindy will be the smallest.[12] The Chennai Central metro station is being constructed at a depth of 25 metres[16] and will serve as a nerve centre since the both the corridors of the Metro Rail project converge in the station. St. Thomas Mount station, where MRTS and suburban lines meet, will be the second largest metro station in the city, where metro line and MRTS line will meet at two levels. A separate pathway is being provided for commuters from suburban railway station to walk into the Metro-MRTS station complex.[12]

Parking facilities will be available only in some of the stations, including Chennai Central, Chennai Airport, Alandur, and Washermenpet, while others may not have parking provision due to lack of space.[17]

The construction of stations were contracted to different construction companies, including Consolidated Construction Consortium Limited (CCCL), Gammon India, among others. Tenders worth INR 2245.3 million were awarded to CCCL to design and construct 10 elevated stations, including Koyambedu, CMBT, Arumbakkam, Vadapalani, Ekkatuthangal, Ashok Nagar, Alandur, SIDCO, Little Mount, Guindy and Officers Training Academy stations.[18] Gammon India is responsible for the construction of seven underground stations, namely, Government Estate, LIC, Thousand Lights, Gemini, Teynampet, Chamiers Road and Saidapet, for which the company has employed about 300 labourers.[19]

History[edit]

Other proposals[edit]

Several studies and proposals have been made to identify new lines to augment the two lines under construction. Two lines have been proposed in the comprehensive transportation study submitted by Wilbur Smith Associates[20] from Medavakkam to St. Thomas Mount and Pattinambakkam to Lighthouse via Radhakrishnan Salai. A metro line from Thiruvanmiyur to Kottivakkam and beyond via ECR has been proposed by CMRL in the steering committee meeting of the Department of Highways and Minor Ports. But it has been decided to defer construction for the present and resume later. This was proposed as an alternate for the East Coast Elevated Expressway[21] A project study was produced to establish links between Moolakada and Thirumangalam, Moolakadai and Thiruvanmiyur and Luz and Poonamallee through Iyyappanthangal.[22]

Planning[edit]

After the success of the Delhi Metro, a similar system has been planned for the city of Chennai by E. Sreedharan of the DMRC to the then Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu Karunanidhi. The plan was later dropped in favour of a highly ambitious monorail network, spread over the whole city during Jayalalitha's tenure. Karunanidhi revived the metro rail project to life once again by including it in the 2007–08 State Government's budget, and an amount of INR500 million had been sanctioned for preliminary works which included a Detailed Project Report (DPR) to be prepared by the DMRC Rail Project. The approval for the project was finally given by the state cabinet on 7 November 2007 and is to be executed by a special purpose vehicle, the Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL).

Seven lines have been planned by the DMRC for the Chennai Metro network. Two routes are under construction as part of the first phase, with several planned for future phases of the metro network.

Line Termini Opening Date Length
(km)
Underground
(km)
Underground
stations
Elevated
stations
Interchange
Line 1 Wimco Nagar Chennai International Airport 2015 (July) 32.1 16.6 13 12 Suburban, MRTS, 2
Line 2 Chennai Central St. Thomas Mount 2015 (March) 22 9.7 9 8 Suburban, MRTS, 1
Line 3 Mogappair Tiruvanmiyur 24 10 9 8 4, MRTS
Line 4 Porur Kamarajar Salai 3
Line 5 Ring Road Ring Road
Line 6 Radhakrishnan Salai Kilpauk Medical College 2
Line 7 Along NH5 Road Along NH5 Road

Lines and routes[edit]

As part of the first phase, two metro lines are under construction.

Line Termini Opening Date Length
(km)
Underground
(km)
Underground
stations
Elevated
stations
Interchange
Line 1 Washermanpet Chennai International Airport 2014 23.1 14.3 11 6 Suburban, MRTS, 2
Line 1 Extension Wimco Nagar Washermanpet 2015 9 2.3 2 6 North, West North, West South
Line 2 Chennai Central St. Thomas Mount 2014 22 9.7 9 8 Suburban, MRTS, 1
Chennai Metro Phase I

Line 1: Wimco Nagar — Chennai Aiport [32.1 km]
Line 2: Chennai Central — St Thomas Mount [22 km]

Wimco Nagar
Tiruvottiyur
Gowri Ashram
Thangal
Tolgate
Tondiarpet
Korrukupet
Washermanpet
Basin Bridge
Mannadi
High Court
Chennai Central
Chennai Fort
Chennai Central
Egmore
Chennai Central
Nehru Park
Chennai Park
Kilpauk Medical College
Park Town
TN Legislative Assembly
Chintadripet
Pachaiyappa's College
See MRTS
Shenoy Nagar
Anna Nagar East
LIC
Anna Nagar Tower
Tirumangalam
Thousand Lights
Koyambedu
Gemini
Koyambedu Depot
CMBT
Teynampet
Arumbakkam
Vadapalani
Chamiers Road
Ashok Nagar-KK Nagar
Saidapet
SIDCO
Little Mount
Alandur
Guindy
Officers Training Academy
St. Thomas Mount
Meenambakkam
See MRTS
Chennai International Airport

Line 1 is intended to cover the Anna Salai stretch and corridor 2 is intended to cover Poonamallee High Road and Inner Ring Road. Line 1 is being extended from Washermapet to Thiruvottiyur as it was originally planned. The extension covering a distance of 9.051 km at an estimated updated completion cost of Rs 3,253 crore is pending approval of the government of India.[23][24] DMRC conducts soil tests in Thiruvottiyur areas for Metro extension. In October 2014, the alignment of the extension was finalised and a new station was added. The new station will be located underground, near Sir Theagaraya College in Old Washermanpet.[25]

The Metro rail tracks are ballast less and the track work comprises 109 route kilometres, including 15 route kilometres inside the Koyambedu depot.[26]

Line 1[edit]

Underground stations (10): Washermanpet, Mannadi, High Court, Chennai Central, Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly, LIC, Thousand Lights, Gemini, Teynampet, and Saidapet

Elevated stations (6): Little Mount, Guindy, Alandur, Officer's Training Academy, Meenambakkam and Chennai International Airport

Line 2[edit]

Underground stations (9): Chennai Central (Interchange), Egmore, Nehru Park, Kilpauk Medical College, Pachaiyappa's College, Shenoy Nagar, Anna Nagar East, Anna Nagar Tower and Tirumangalam

Elevated stations (8): Koyambedu, CMBT, Arumbakkam, Vadapalani, Ashok Nagar-KK Nagar, SIDCO, Alandur (Interchange) and St. Thomas Mount (Parangimalai)

Line 1 (extension)[edit]

Underground stations (2): Sir Theagaraya College, Korukkupet

Elevated stations (6): Tondiarpet, Toll Gate, Thangal, Gowri Ashram, Tiruvottiyur, Wimco Nagar

Construction history[edit]

The construction started on 10 June 2009 with the piling work for the elevated viaduct between Koyambedu and Ashok Nagar stretch. Construction is expected to be fully completed by February 2015. The first section to be opened will be on Line 2 between Koyambedu and Alandur and this stretch is likely to be in operation by March 2015. The construction work on the project was suspended on 9 August 2012, following an accident that killed a worker and injured six others, a day earlier. The work resumed after safety audit across its 32 stations was completed.[27]

Metro rail uses earth pressure balance tunnel boring machines (TBMs) which use pressure to hold up a few feet of earth in front of its face before it bores and moves forward.[28] The tunnelling work began on 28 July 2012 at Nehru Park by means of twelve TBMs imported from China. Two parallel tunnels, 14.05 metres apart, were drilled at a depth of about 20 m for a length of 36,308 m. The depth of the tunnels will vary from 15 metres to 17 metres from the ground. The tunnel will have an outer diameter of 6.2 metres and an inner diameter of 5.8 metres. It will start at a depth of 9 metres from the surface.[29]

The project is estimated to cost around INR146 billion (US$2.4 billion) for the two corridors totalling 45 km. However, the previous estimate in 2007 was INR95.65 billion (US$1.5 billion).[30] But it is likely to increase by 23% to INR180 billion (US$2.9 billion)[31] Tamil Nadu government in 2012–13 budget said global bids have been invited for implementing Phase I, covering 57 km and estimated to cost Rs 85 billion.[32] The Underground tunnelling will cost about INR 3 billion per kilometre, whereas elevated track will cost about INR 1 billion per kilometre. The estimated construction cost of underground and elevated station will be INR 1 billion and INR 3 billion, respectively.[33]

Tunnel boring machine[edit]

Nearly 200 foreign nationals, including Germans, Chinese and Japanese, are involved in tunnelling work. The tunnelling assignment of the Chennai Metro is considered one of the most complicated due to the complex soil structure, with stretches such as the one between the High Court and Chennai Central having very hard rock at the bottom with loose soil on the top. The water table in Chennai too is very high. During rainy season it is almost the at ground level while in Delhi, it is 15–20 metres below, making the task even more complicated. Due to the complex ground structure, soil test need to done every 50 metre and different types of machines have to be used, unlike in most other cities where the soil structure is homogeneous. Three consortiums, namely, Afcons-Transtonnelstroy, L&T and SUCG, Gammon and Mosmetrostroy, are involved in the underground construction.[34]

The tunnelling work of the Chennai Metro was carried out by twelve tunnel boring machines (TBMs) working on forty tunnel sections covering 38 km. Of the twelve machines, the German company Herrenknecht deployed eight machines. Of the remaining, two machines were from China and one each from the United States and Japan. For every kilometre of underground work, it cost INR 3,000 million with the cost of tunnelling alone being INR114,000 million. On an average, the TBMs cover around 14 metre of tunnelling every day. For every metre, about 50 cubic metre of muck is excavated and used to fill up low lying areas in the city's suburbs.[34]

Steel girder rail overbridge at Guindy[edit]

The Guindy–Alandur section of the Metro crosses the Chennai Suburban Railway tracks by means of a 105-metre-long steel girder rail overbridge. The iron bridge will be connected by steel girders. The superstructure is fabricated at the yard and assembled on the piers of the approach station area, and will be launched to its final position by nose launching method. The whole process will take around 15 to 25 days. After it is launched to its final span locations, the bridge will be lowered over the respective bearing and deck slab will be cast to pave way for track works. The work will be carried out only between midnight and 3.30 am when there are no suburban trains crossing the area.[35]

2008[edit]

  • 16 April: Planning commission gives in-principle approval for the project[36]
  • 21 November: Deal signed with Japan Banking Corporation for procuring 59% loan at Tokyo.[37]

2009[edit]

  • 20 January: Tenders floated for Phase I of the Metro project; winning bidder yet to be announced, work to commence in the end of February or beginning of March.
  • 29 January: Chennai Metro becomes one of the fastest projects to get approval from the Economic Ministry, signed for commencement by officiating Finance Minister Mr. Pranab Mukherjee.
  • 13 February: The Hyderabad-based Soma Enterprise Ltd has been awarded a INR 199.2-crore (INR 1.99 billion) contract in the Chennai Metro Rail Project, marking the start of the work on the project. It has begun construction on the 4.5 km stretch elevated viaduct along the IRR (Inner Ring Road) between Koyambedu and Ashok Nagar. It does not include stations as it would be tendered separately.[38]
  • 10 March: A Five-member consortium led by Egis Rail S.A, France has been awarded the USD 30 million general consultancy contract by CMRL. The other members of the consortium are Egis India Consulting Engineers Private Ltd., India, Maunsell Consultants Asia Ltd., Hong Kong, Balaji Rail Road Systems Ltd., India and Yachiyo Engineering Co. Ltd., Japan.[39]
  • 20 May: CMRL started to evaluate the integration of Metro corridor with the planned grade separator at the junction of Arcot Road and Jawaharlal Nehru Road.[40]
  • 27 May: Trial Pile Load Tests are being conducted at three locations in Inner Ring Road (IRR) — At Ashok Nagar opposite to Karaikudi Restaurant, at vadapalani opposite to Hotel Ambica Palace Empire and at Koyambedu opposite to SAF Games Village.
  • 10 June: Deputy Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu Thiru. M.K.Stalin inaugurated the piling work for the construction of elevated viaduct from Koyambedu to Ashok Nagar.[41]
  • 23 July: Pre-qualification tenders invited by EMBYE consultant for the rolling stock.[42]
  • 30 July: Soil tests conducted by DMRC at Wimco Nagar, Periyar Nagar and Neydhal Nagar in Tiruvottiyur for Chennai Metro Extension.
  • 26 August: Tenders invited for the elevated viaducts for the Corridor 1 from Saidapet including station viaducts until OTA and for Corridor 2 from Ashok Nagar including station viaducts until Alandur.[43]
  • 4 September: Pre-qualification tenders invited for underground stations and tunnels. Invite for bids are expected around January 2010.
  • 31 December: Pre-qualification tenders invited for track works (design and build). Invite for bids are expected around May 2010.

2010[edit]

  • 11 January: Pre-qualification tenders invited for power supply system and overhead equipment (design and build). Invite for bids are expected around May 2010.
  • 28 January: Larsen and Toubro (L&T) bags the contract for 9.73 elevated viaducts from Corridor 1 from Saidapet until OTA (5.17 km @ INR 1733.0 million) and for Corridor 2 from Ashok Nagar until St. Thomas Mount (4.56 km @ INR 1411.3 million) valued together at INR 3144.3 million.[44][45][46]
  • 12 February: Tenders invited for 10 elevated stations and an integrated viaduct-flyover @ vadapalani.
  • 12 March: Tender invited for Koyambedu Depot pre-filling and two PQs invited for Telecom, Platform Screen Doors & Signalling and Lifts & Escalators.
  • 29 March: Chennai Metro Project Phase II receives INR 29326 million loan agreement from Japan. Finance Ministry of India signs agreement with Japanese Ambassador to India Hideaki Domichi.[47][48]
  • 19 April: Tender for pre-filling of Koyambedu depot has been awarded to Tantia Construction Limited for 205.2 million.
  • 22 June: Tenders for 10 elevated stations have been awarded. 5 stations in – Koyambedu, CMBT, Arumbakkam, Vadapalani and Ashok Nagar/K.K Nagar as 1 package at a cost of 1395.4 million and another 5 in Little Mount, Guindy, Alandur, O.T.A., and SIDCO as another package at a cost of 949.9 million have been awarded to Consolidated Construction Consortium Limited.[49][50]
  • 29 June: Works on Underground sections, underground stations, signalling and telecom, tracks, OHE, etc. would begin before the end of 2010–2011 financial year.
  • 2 August: Rolling stock tenders have been awarded to Alstom Transport S.A & Alstom Projects India Ltd consortium at a cost of INR 14713 million. 42 train-sets of 4-car configuration (168 coaches) is to be procured. The first delivery of cars is expected to reach by end of 2012. The train sets will be equipped with air-conditioned interiors, electrically operated automatic sliding doors, regenerative braking system.[51][52]
  • 19 August: Phase-I extension will have 2.3 km underground and 6.6 km elevated with 7 stations.[53]
  • 30 October: Metro rail extension to Tambaram would be considered.[54]
  • 2 November: Depot work for Phase I has been awarded to L&T.[55][56]
  • 20 December: DMRC submitted a detailed project report (DPR) for extending Corridor-I from Washemenpet to Wimco Nagar, a distance of nine km, at an estimated cost of Rs.22.40 billion. Also the official go-ahead for starting the detailed project report (DPR) for the next phase is still awaited.[57]

2011[edit]

  • 21 January: Rs449.22-crore contract for design and construction of track works was awarded to a joint venture of L&T and Alstom.[58] Rs.1.98 billion contract for supply of lifts and escalators was awarded to a joint venture of Johnson Lifts Pvt. Limited and SJEC Corporation (China).[59]
  • 1 February: Transtonnelstroy-AFCONS JV bags two contracts for underground sections with value of Rs15.67 billion and Rs10.31 billion respectively. A joint venture of city-based Metro Tunnelling and L&T SUCG bagged the Rs705.75-crore contract to design and build three underground stations and associated tunnels from Nehru Park to Pachaiyappa's College.[60]
  • 2 February: OJSC Mosmetrostroy-Gammon India JV has been awarded two underground packages for a value of INR 9328.8 million and INR 10474.2 million.[61]
  • 22 February: Contract for power supply and overhead electrification (OHE) was awarded to Siemens AG of Germany and Siemens Ltd India Consortium for Rs3.05 billion.[62]
  • 3 March: Automatic Fare Collection (AFC) system design-and-build contract to Nippon Signal Co Ltd for 1098.8 million.
  • 7 March: The contract for tunnel ventilation system (design and build) was awarded to Emirates Trading Agency LLC, Dubai and ETA Engineering Private Limited, India donsortium for Rs.2418.3 million. Underground stations air conditioning system contract was awarded to Voltas ltd for Rs.1962.0 million.
  • 10 August: Contract for Construction of Elevated Station at Meenambakkam, Viaduct and Cut – Cover Tunnel between OTA Station and Chennai Airport Station was awarded to Lanco Infratech Limited for 1789.4 million.
  • 12 September: Work on ‘double-decker’ structure at Arcot Road–100-ft Road at Vadapalani begins. The 4-lane flyover below the Metro will be 700-m long and 18.6-m wide, with 7.5-m wide service roads and 2.5-m wide drainage-cum-footpath on either side.[63]

2012[edit]

  • 22 March: The complex engineering of the Chennai Metro Rail construction.[64]
  • 7 April: The Madras High Court dismisses a petition filed by the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage challenging the demolition of the rear section of the P. Orr and Sons building on Anna Salai.[65]
  • 10 September: The erection of electrical masts on elevated viaduct between Vadapalani and Koyambedu was started. 30 Masts were erected at the site and further erection is going on. In the elevated viaduct, flexible overhead catenary system is adopted.
  • 24 September: The track works for about 3.5 km between Vadapalani and CMBT stations have been completed. About 2.6 km has been handed over for other system works such as OHE Erection etc.[66]
  • 4 October: Walls are being built below the surface at all underground station sites, including Mannadi, near the high court and Chennai Central, in Egmore, at Government Estate, near LIC, in Thousand Lights, near Gemini Flyover, Teynampet, Chamiers Road, Kilpauk Medical College & Hospital, Pachaiyappa’s College, Anna Nagar Tower, in Anna Nagar East and Thirumangalam.[66]
  • 6 October: Eleven TBMs have been commissioned to bore tunnels along the underground stretch. The first TBM, launched in July, has readied a nearly 100-metre-long tunnel and the second machine will be launched within a fortnight. A total of three TBMs are stationed at the May Day Park, Chintadripet. Two Tunnel Boring Machines (TBMs), just arrived from China, will soon begin boring an underground path from Saidapet to Gemini.[66]
  • 18 October: Eight cars shells required for the first two trains is completed and further fitment of cables, pipes, panels and equipments are progressing well in Alstom factory located in São Paulo, Brazil. Mock up model of the passenger saloon and cab is completed in Brazil. The saloon mockup is shipped from Brazil and is expected to reach Chennai by the end of November 2012.[66]
  • 4 December: The first model coach of Chennai Metro Rail that was manufactured in Brazil arrived in the city.[66]

2013[edit]

  • 6 November: The test run of the Chennai Metro Rail was flagged off by the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa. The four-coach train made a small trip of one km along the test track in Koyambedu on Wednesday.[67]

2014[edit]

  • 30 January: In the address to the state assembly for the year 2014, the Governor Rosaiah stated that, the State government would take up a detailed project report for Phase II of the project in newly identified corridors.[68]
  • 14 February: The maiden trial run for the Metro Rail was conducted between the Koyambedu and Ashok Nagar stations. The train had three trial runs, in this stretch which includes five stations – Koyambedu, CMBT,Arumbakkam, Vadapalani and Ashok Nagar. Further runs are planned at varying speeds and to be followed by software test, signal test, telecom test and train test after which an integration trial will be conducted. The final inauguration could happen, after success of all these tests and obtaining of rail safety clearance.[69] After statutory processes, CMRL hopes to open a 9-km stretch up to Alandur to the public by July 2014.[70]
  • 22 June: The structural works for all stations had been completed and interiors works were underway. It is expected that by the end of October the Chennai Metro services will commence.[71]
  • 31 August Metro Rail trains have received the statutory speed certification clearance from the Research Design and Standards Organization, to operate trains at a maximum speed of 80kmph on the elevated corridor.[72] The clearance by the RDSO came two months after they inspected the trains and conducted various tests, including checks on vibrations from trains and passenger comfort.[73] It is expected that Metro Rail may begin its service, on the 10-km elevated line, from Koyambedu to Alandur by mid-November after the completion of stations and subsequent approval from CMRS (commissioner of metro rail safety) - which is the last step before the commercial run. The stations are expected to be partially completed to an extent required for the commercial run as it is not mandatory to complete the stations fully.
  • 18 October Works on the Metro Rail stations are yet to be completed. Till now, no date has been fixed. It can be decided only after getting vital clearances from the Commissioner of Railway Safety[74]

Cost and escalation[edit]

At the time of construction, it cost nearly INR 3,000 million and INR 1,000 million to build one kilometre of tunnel and one underground station, respectively.[9]

When the Chennai Metro Rail project was initiated in 2007, the estimated cost of the 45-km route in phase I was around INR 146 billion[75] with a forecasted 5 percent increase. As of 2014, the project cost came to INR 200,000 million. As against an earlier estimate of INR 10,000 million for the land, it touched INR 25,000 million in 2014.[3]

Phase I extension of 9 km from Washermanpet to Wimco Nagar at Tiruvottiyur cost INR 30,010 million as of 2014, which is expected to begin by December 2014.[76]

Phase II of the Chennai metro rail project is estimated at INR 360,000 million. The project is being funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (59 percent), 20 percent by the Union government and 21 percent by the state government.[3]

Tracks[edit]

Chennai Metro runs in standard gauge measuring 1435 mm. The rail tracks for Chennai Metro are being manufactured in Brazil and imported to Chennai. The raw material for the rails is being supplied by Tata Steel Factory at Scunthorpe, England. The rails for Chennai Metro weigh 60 kg per metre, as against 52 kg per metre used by Indian Railways. The life of the rails too is twice as that of the ordinary ones. The cost is 20 percent more than the ordinary rails used in India. The Phase I of Chennai Metro requires 230 km of rails. The tracks are being laid by L&T and Alstom at a cost of INR 5,000 million.[77]

Rolling stock[edit]

Alstom won its first metro rolling stock contract in India to supply 168 cars and 16 additional metro cars to Chennai Metro for €243 million.[78] Alstom will supply Chennai Metro's public operator with 42 train-sets composed of four cars each. Alstom Transport has set up a metro car manufacturing unit at Sri City SEZ at Tada, Andhra Pradesh, about 75 km from Chennai.[79] The first 9 trains will be made in Lapa, São Paulo, Brazil[78] and the remaining 33 will be made in Sri City.[80] Each coach costs CMRL INR 90 million.[66] The stainless steel trains will feature air-conditioned interiors and electrically operated automatic sliding doors for easy access to passengers and a regenerative braking system to ensure significant energy savings. The cars will operate on 25 kV AC through an overhead catenary system at speeds of up to 80 km/h.[81] The first indigenised coach from Alstom Rolling Stock factory at the Sri City SEZ for the Chennai Metro Rail project was rolled out on 27 February 2014.

The total length of the trains with four cars will be 90 metres, with each car measuring 22.5 metres.[14] Each 4-car train will have a carrying capacity of 1,276 people and each 6-car train can carry 1,580 people. A single trip in a 4-car train is equivalent to a ride in 16 buses, 300 cars, or 600 two-wheelers. By 2016, the number of passengers using the service during peak hours is expected to be around 24,968 in corridor I and 24,324 in corridor II.[17]

The trains will have a first-class compartment, within which there will be a women's section. The first-class car will have 14 seats while each normal car will have 44 seats. Each train will also have four seats earmarked for the elderly and four for the differently abled.[80]

Power supply[edit]

Electricity for the Metro will be supplied by Tamil Nadu Electricity Board.[82] Once the operating of trains commence by 2015, Metro rail will need nearly 70 MW power to operate trains and for lighting and air conditioning of stations. Power for the overhead power cables and stations in the Metro Rail corridor will be fed by an elaborate network of substations and auxiliary substations. In addition, power generated from the braking action of trains will be used for air conditioning and lighting of the interiors to reduce power requirement. The trains will require 25 kV power for traction while the stations will require 33 kV to operate lights and communication systems. Unlike suburban railway stations, metro stations will be interlinked with the trains that run on pre-programmed speed, time and stops, which requires uninterrupted power supply.[83] The Metro Rail network will have three 230-kV receiving sub-stations at Koyambedu, Alandur and Chennai Central, constructed by the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board.[82] The sub-stations will receive power from the state grid and convert it for use. Besides, the network will also have three auxiliary substations to supply power to stations and three traction substations to supply power for overhead power cables. The auxiliary substations will convert 33 kV into 415 volts and will be supplied to stations. All the stations will also have a back-up substation and a standby arrangement. The standby arrangement consists of a diesel-power generator for elevated station and two generators for underground stations.[83]

The traction of trains accounts for more than 60 to 80 percent of the power consumption in a metro rail network owing to the trains' frequent stops and starts at the stations. To offset this high power requirement from the grid, trains are designed to regenerate power. The modern design of trains with three-phase induction motors and converter inverter enables recovery of a major portion of consumed electricity by way of using regenerative braking.[83] Chennai Metro Rail, which uses Alstom's metropolis trains, is expected to save 30 to 35 percent of power through regeneration[84] compared with the average of 20 percent saving of Metro railways worldwide.[83] Energy consumption of the Chennai Metro Rail will be one-fifth as that of the city's road traffic.[83]

Chennai Metro Rail is also planning to use solar power for five of its stations on the elevated corridor, with a production capacity of 200-kilo-watt peak (kWp) in these stations that is expected to take about 10 percent of the load. There are also plans to install solar panels on the terraces of the five stations.[84]

Maintenance[edit]

Depot[edit]

The Metro has a depot at Koyambedu. The depot features ballast-less tracks of 15 route kilometres.[26] The depot, spread over 26 hectares, houses maintenance workshops, stabling lines, a test track and a washing plant for the trains. It also houses the Operational Control Centre (OCC) for the Metro Rail from where movement of trains across the city can be monitored. A second depot is being planned near the Chennai airport, for which the CMRL plans to acquire about 10 hectares from the defence authorities opposite Chennai airport. Reportedly, it may take about two to three years for the second depot to be completed.[85]

Administration[edit]

The 6-storey admin building of Chennai Metro is located at Koyambedu depot. It is designed to accommodate the officials of CMRL as well as the equipments needed to control the metro system. It also accommodates the Operation Control Centre, described as the heart of the metro operations, to monitor the movements of trains in the main line and the equipment rooms belonging to various systems involved in the metro operation. The building is a Gold-rated "LEED-Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design"-certified building. Depot control centre in the admin building will also monitor the movements of trains inside the depot.

Operation Control Centre[edit]

The Operation Control Centre (OCC), the nerve center of the metro rail network, controls the entire Metro Rail network and its operations. Everything in the train will be pre-set. The train speed, routing, signal, halting and manoeuvring of the train will be controlled from the OCC. It also monitors the real-time CCTV footages obtained from the stations and on-board cameras.[86]

Headquarters building[edit]

CMRL is planning to build a 20-to-25-storied building on a 10-acre plot at Nandanam for its headquarters building.[87]

Services[edit]

Once operational, Chennai Metro will operate trains for 19 hours a day from 5:00 am to 12:00 am.[80] The initial frequency will be every 4.5 minutes in peak hours and every 15 minutes in lean hours, when the Metro Rail is inaugurated.[17] CMRL is planning to increase the frequency to one train every 2.5 minutes once footfalls reach 600,000 passengers a day.[88] Metro trains are designed for operating speed of 80 km per hour,[14] and the trains will have an average speed of 34 km per hour[80] and will halt at every station for about 30 seconds. The system can carry more than 30,000 passengers per hour per direction.[89]

Fares[edit]

Upon its opening, the Chennai Metro is slated to adopt a fare based ticketing structure. The following table is an approximate table for what the preliminary fare scheme will be:[90]

Distance (km) Metro Fare (Indian Rupee symbol.svg)
0–2 8.00
2–4 10.00
4–6 11.00
6–9 14.00
9–12 15.00
12–15 17.00
15–18 18.00
18–21 19.00
21–24 20.00
24–27 22.00
>27 23.00

The first car in each train will be first class with tickets costing twice as much as the second class tickets.[91] However, in February 2014, Chennai Metro Rail hinted that the fares will be between INR 10 (for the shortest distance of 1.5 km from Koyambedu to CMBT stations) and INR 30 (for the longest distance of 25 km from Washermanpet to Airport stations).[92]

With these fare structure, some media foresee Metro as viable only for the middle class and those with higher socioeconomic status and not for the low-wage workers commuting to the city from the outskirts.[93]

Proposed connections[edit]

The metro system will provide connections with various other transportation modes in the city. They are listed below at the proposed station site:

The CMRL also planned to construct a 400-metre long flyover along Inner Ring Road, Chennai at the junction of Arcot Road in Vadapalani on either side of the metro viaduct.[94][95][96]

Future expansion[edit]

Phase II[edit]

Chennai Metro Phase II
Moolakadai
Moolakadai
Redhills
Perambur
Ambattur
Kilpauk
Mogappair
Thousand lights
Tirumangalam
Mylapore
Mylapore
Luz
Thiruvanmiyur
T Nagar
Vadapalani
Saligramam
Iyyapanthangal
Poonamallee

Three lines covering a distance of 63 kilometres[97] have been proposed in the second phase of the network. A detailed project report is to be prepared in a year regarding feasibility of the proposed lines.[98][99][100]

As per the ministers of the DMK government of 2010–2011, it was proposed to consider the extension of the Metro line to Tambaram after taking up works at Tiruvottiyur and also the earlier announced phase two corridors.[101] However, in 2012 the new government by ADMK, scrapped the prior phase-II plans and went for fresh study.[102]

In the address to the state assembly for the year 2014, the Governor Rosaiah stated that, the State government would take up a detailed project report for Phase II of the project in newly identified corridors.[103] The State government has, reportedly, set aside INR 360,000 million for Phase II of Chennai Metro Rail and is considering three corridors sprawling over 76 km of the city for this project. Initial estimates show that for each kilometre of Phase II, the State government may have to spend about INR 4,750 million.[104]

The decision to prepare a detailed project report (DPR) for phase II was announced by the state government in January 2014. All the three corridors planned in phase II of the project will be underground. While the construction of every kilometre of an elevated corridor costs about INR 1,500 million, the underground network may cost about INR 5,000 million per kilometre. After the government approves the alignment and grants clearance, it would take a year to complete the DPR and at least another 10 years to finish the entire project.[105]

These are proposed routes and not yet confirmed.

Line 3[edit]

Madhavaram to Lighthouse (17 km)[104] Via Moolakadai Junction, Perambur Railway Station, Aynavaram Bus Terminus, Purasaiwalkkam, Chetpet, DPI, Mount Road

Line 4[edit]

Madhavaram to Perumbakkam (32 km)[104]

Line 5[edit]

Koyambedu to Injambakkam (27 km)[104]

Takeover of MRTS[edit]

The MRTS, operated by Southern Railway, is proposed to be taken over by the CMRL thereby bringing all the elevated tracks and underground tracks inside the city under one organisation. The Chennai MRTS is a well executed project and is a fully public-service–oriented enterprise at present. After the merger, it is proposed to replace the current EMUs in the MRTS with air-conditioned coaches with automatic doors.[106][107][108]

Parks taken over for construction[edit]

As of 2011, four urban parks in the city has been taken over by CMRL for construction-related activities. These have been closed to the public since then. They include Corporation parks at Ashok Nagar, Thiru-Vi-Ka Park in Shenoy Nagar, Nehru Park on Poonamallee High Road, and May Day Park in Chintadripet. At the Ashok Nagar Park, the pillars of the elevated corridor would come up on the edge of the park to provide sufficient turning radius.[109]

Upon completion of the construction work, all the four parks will be renovated at a cost of INR20 million.[109]

Accidents and incidents[edit]

During construction[edit]

  • In August 2012, a construction worker was killed and six others were seriously injured due to a crane boom failure near Pachaiyappa's College.[110]
  • On 10 January 2013, a 22-year-old construction worker was killed and three others were injured at a Metro Rail site on Railway Station Road between Alandur and St. Thomas Mount at around 3:45 am.[110]
  • On 11 January 2014, an accident involving a crane had occurred. The crane had toppled over, killing a 20-year-old construction worker and seriously injuring one other worker. The accident took place at 6:45 am at the construction site of the Saidapet station.[111]

Awards[edit]

Chennai Metro Rail Limited was awarded the best upcoming Metro Rail Operator for the year 2014 at the 3rd Annual Metro Rail Summit 2014 organised by ITP publishing organisation at Gurgaon, Delhi.[citation needed]

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]