Chennai Metro Rail arriving at Koyambedu Station.
|Native name||சென்னை மெட்ரோ ரயில்|
|Owner||Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL)|
|Locale||Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India|
|Transit type||Rapid Transit|
|Number of lines||1 (operational)
2 (Phase I)
|Number of stations||7 (operational)
42 (Phase I)
|Began operation||29 June 2015|
|Number of vehicles||42 (Phase I)|
|Train length||86.5 m (284 ft)|
|System length||10 km (6.2 mi) (operational)
45.1 km (28.0 mi) (Phase I)
|Track gauge||1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in) standard gauge|
|Electrification||25 kV, 50 Hz AC through overhead catenary|
|Top speed||80 km/h (50 mph)|
The Chennai Metro Rail is a rapid transit system in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India. Phase I of the project consists of two corridors covering a length of 45.1 kilometres (28.0 mi). The first line of Phase 1 has been partially completed and is open for public service. About 55% of the corridors in Phase I are underground, with the remaining corridors elevated.
Upon full completion, Chennai Metro Rail will 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% from one end of the city to another. The state and central governments are also working together for the CMRL to takeover the Chennai Mass Rapid Transit System (MRTS) so that the latter would get a makeover 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.
The first stretch of Chennai Metro Rail, covering the seven stations from Koyambedu to Alandur over a distance of 10 kilometres (6.2 mi), began operation on 29 June 2015. Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu J Jayalalitha flagged off Metro service while Preethi, one of the women drivers of Chennai Metro, drove the train out of Alandhur station. Chennai became the seventh Indian city with metro rapid transit system in India, after Kolkata, Delhi, Bengaluru, Mumbai, Gurgaon and Jaipur.
- 1 Background
- 2 Design
- 3 History
- 4 Lines and routes
- 5 Cost and escalation
- 6 Infrastructure
- 7 Maintenance
- 8 Administration
- 9 Services
- 10 Fares
- 11 Proposed connections
- 12 Future expansion
- 13 Parks taken over for construction
- 14 Accidents and incidents
- 15 Awards
- 16 Gallery
- 17 See also
- 18 References
- 19 External links
|This section does not cite any sources. (May 2011)|
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. K Rajaraman, IAS, 1989 Batch Officer of Tamil Nadu Cadre has been named as the Managing Director of CMRL.
The lines of the Chennai Metro are double-tracked. The average height of the tracks is 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. 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.
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. 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.
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 m along the walkway. 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.
The air funnel area between OTA and Meenambakkam stations in the airport section of the Metro has the lines running underground owing to the proximity to the northeastern end of the second runway of the Chennai airport. The otherwise elevated lines run below the surface for around 500 m after it crosses OTA station and comes out to reach Meenambakkam station to prevent it from becoming a hindrance for flights landing on the second runway. The underground section is being built by means of a cut-and-cover trench.
When operational, the average speed is expected to be 35 km/h and maximum speed at 80 km/h 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% of the energy during braking.
A total of 32 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. 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. 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 Mobile Phone Signals within the premises. The elevated corridor will have a total of 53 lifts and 89 escalators.
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. The underground stations will have an average width of 220 to 390 m and will go up to 50 ft deep from the ground level.
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 m above the street level and will have station control room, ticketing counters, ticket gates. The platform for boarding trains will be around 12.6 m above the street level.
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. The Chennai Central metro station is being constructed at a depth of 25 m 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.
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.
The construction of stations were contracted to different construction companies, including Consolidated Construction Consortium Limited (CCCL), Gammon India, among others. Tenders worth ₹ 224.53 crore 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. 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.
None of the stations will be provided with toilet facility, with the idea of not having passengers inside the station for long hours.
Koyambedu, Chennai Mofussil Bus Terminus, Arumbakkam, Vadapalani, Ashok Nagar, Ekkattuthangal and Alandur are the seven stations that are currently operational with the inauguration of the first phase on 29 June 2015.
In July 2015, some station roofs leaked in the rain.
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 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 A project study was produced to establish links between Moolakadai and Thirumangalam, Moolakadai and Thiruvanmiyur and Luz and Poonamallee through Iyyappanthangal.
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 ₹ 50 crore 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.
|Blue Line||(Wimco Nagar via) Washermanpet||Chennai International Airport||2015||23 + 9||16.6||13||12||Suburban, MRTS, 2|
|Green Line||Chennai Central||St Thomas Mount||29 June 2015 (Koyambedu to Alandur)||22||9.7||9||8||Suburban, MRTS, 1|
|Line 3||(Redhills via) Madhavaram||Siruseri||41 + 9|
|Line 4||(Poonamallee via) Koyambedu||Light House||14 + 11|
|Line 5||(Wimco Nagar via) Madhavaram||Perumbakkam||33 + 15|
|Line 5 (Split Route)||(Anna Nagar West via) Lucas TVS||Ambattur OT||7|
Lines and routes
As part of the first phase, two metro lines are under construction.
|Blue Line||Washermanpet||Chennai International Airport||2015||23.1||14.3||11||6||Suburban, MRTS, 2|
|Blue Line Extension||Wimco Nagar||Washermanpet||2015||9||2.3||2||6||North, West North, West South|
|Green Line||Chennai Central||St Thomas Mount||29 June 2015 (Koyambedu to Alandur)||22||9.7||9||8||Suburban, MRTS, 1|
Chennai Metro Phase I
Line 1: Wimco Nagar — Chennai Airport [32.1 km]
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 Washermanpet to Thiruvottiyur as it was originally planned. The extension covering a distance of 9.051 km at an estimated updated completion cost of ₹ 3,253 crore is pending approval of the Government of India. DMRC conducted soil tests in Thiruvottiyur areas for Metro extension, which was completed in 2010. 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.
The Metro rail tracks are ballast less and the track work comprises 109 route kilometres, including 15 route kilometres inside the Koyambedu depot.
Underground stations (10): Washermanpet, Mannadi, High Court, Chennai Central, Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly, LIC, Thousand Lights, Gemini, Teynampet, and Saidapet
Blue Line (extension)
Underground stations (2): Theagaraya College, Korukkupet
Elevated stations (6): Tondiarpet, Toll Gate, Thangal, Gowri Ashram, Wimco Nagar
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)
The construction started on 10 June 2009 with the piling work for the elevated viaduct between Koyambedu and Ashok Nagar stretch. The first section to be opened was Line 2 between Koyambedu and Alandur and this stretch was inaugurated on 29 June 2015. Earlier, St Thomas Mount, the biggest station in the elevated corridor, which is also to be integrated with the MRTS, had to be excluded from the trial run since the construction was not complete.
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.
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. The tunnelling work began on 28 July 2012 at Nehru Park by means of twelve TBMs imported from China. Two parallel tunnels, 14.05 m 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 m to 17 m from the ground. The tunnel will have an outer diameter of 6.2 m and an inner diameter of 5.8 m. It will start at a depth of 9 m from the surface.
The project is estimated to cost around ₹14600 crore (US$2.1 billion) for the two corridors totalling 45 km. However, the previous estimate in 2007 was ₹9565 crore (US$1.4 billion). But it is likely to increase by 23% to ₹18000 crore (US$2.6 billion) Tamil Nadu government in 2012–13 budget said global bids have been invited for implementing Phase I, covering 57 km and estimated to cost ₹ 8,500 crore. The Underground tunnelling will cost about ₹ 300 crore/km, whereas elevated track will cost about ₹ 100 crore/km. The estimated construction cost of underground and elevated station will be ₹ 100 crore and ₹ 300 crore, respectively.
Tunnel Boring Machine
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 m below, making the task even more complicated. Due to the complex ground structure, soil test need to done every 50 m 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.
The tunnelling work of the Chennai Metro was carried out by 12 Tunnel Boring Machines (TBMs) working on 40 tunnel sections covering 38 km. Of the 12 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 ₹ 300 crore with the cost of tunnelling alone being ₹ 11,400 crore. On an average, the TBMs cover around 14 m 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.
Steel girder rail overbridge at Guindy
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.
- 16 April: Planning commission gives in-principle approval for the project
- 21 November: Deal signed with Japan Banking Corporation for procuring 59% loan at Tokyo.
- 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 Pranab Mukherjee.
- 13 February: The Hyderabad-based Soma Enterprise Ltd has been awarded a ₹ 199.2 crore 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.
- 10 March: A Five-member consortium led by Egis Rail SA, 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 23 July: Pre-qualification tenders invited by EMBYE consultant for the rolling stock.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 @ ₹ 173.3 crore) and for Corridor 2 from Ashok Nagar until St Thomas Mount (4.56 km @ ₹ 141.13 crore) valued together at ₹ 314.43 crore.
- 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 ₹ 2,932.6 crore loan agreement from Japan. Finance Ministry of India signs agreement with Japanese Ambassador to India Hideaki Domichi.
- 19 April: Tender for pre-filling of Koyambedu depot has been awarded to Tantia Construction Limited for 20.52 crore.
- 22 June: Tenders for 10 elevated stations have been awarded. Five stations in – Koyambedu, CMBT, Arumbakkam, Vadapalani and Ashok Nagar/K K Nagar as one package at a cost of 139.54 crore and another five in Little Mount, Guindy, Alandur, OTA, and SIDCO as another package at a cost of 94.99 crore have been awarded to Consolidated Construction Consortium Limited.
- 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 SA & Alstom Projects India Ltd consortium at a cost of ₹ 1,471.3 crore. 42 train-sets of 4-carriage (bogie) configuration (168 coaches) is to be procured. The first delivery of carriages 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.
- 19 August: Phase-I extension will have 2.3 km underground and 6.6 km elevated with seven stations.
- 30 October: Metro rail extension to Tambaram would be considered.
- 2 November: Depot work for Phase I has been awarded to L&T.
- 20 December: DMRC submitted a Detailed Project Report (DPR) for extending Corridor-I from Washemenpet to Wimco Nagar, a distance of 9 km, at an estimated cost of ₹ 2,240 crore. Also the official go-ahead for starting the Detailed Project Report (DPR) for the next phase is still awaited.
- 21 January: ₹ 449.22-crore contract for design and construction of track works was awarded to a joint venture of L&T and Alstom. ₹ 198 crore contract for supply of lifts and escalators was awarded to a joint venture of Johnson Lifts Pvt Ltd and SJEC Corporation (China).
- 1 February: Transtonnelstroy-AFCONS JV bags two contracts for underground sections with value of ₹ 1,567 crore and ₹ 1,031 crore respectively. A joint venture of city-based Metro Tunnelling and L&T SUCG secured the ₹ 705.75-crore contract to design and build three underground stations and associated tunnels from Nehru Park to Pachaiyappa's College.
- 2 February: OJSC Mosmetrostroy-Gammon India JV has been awarded two underground packages for a value of ₹ 932.88 crore and ₹ 1,047.42 crore.
- 22 February: Contract for power supply and Overhead Electrification (OHE) was awarded to Siemens AG of Germany and Siemens Ltd India Consortium for ₹ 305 crore.
- 3 March: Automatic Fare Collection (AFC) system design-and-build contract to Nippon Signal Co Ltd for 109.88 crore.
- 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 ₹ 241.83 crore. Underground Stations Air-Conditioning System contract was awarded to Voltas Ltd for ₹ 196.2 crore.
- 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 178.94 crore.
- 12 September: Work on ‘double-decker’ structure at Arcot Road–100-ft Road at Vadapalani begins. The four-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.
- 22 March: The complex engineering of the Chennai Metro Rail construction.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 6 October: 11 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.
- 18 October: Eight bogies (coaches/carriages) 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.
- 4 December: The first model coach of Chennai Metro Rail that was manufactured in Brazil arrived in the city.
- 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 1 km along the test track in Koyambedu on Wednesday.
- 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.
- 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. After statutory processes, CMRL hopes to open a 9-km stretch up to Alandur to the public by July 2014.
- 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.
- 31 August Metro Rail trains have received the statutory speed certification clearance from the Research Design and Standards Organisation, to operate trains at a maximum speed of 80 km/h on the elevated corridor. 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. 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
- 18 December CMRL officials had approached the state government seeking an appropriate date in February to fix the launch function.
- 2 January Detailed report to be submitted, on 6th Jan 2015, to Commissioner of Metro Rail Safety in Bengaluru for approval.
- 7 April The Commissioner of Metro Rail Safety and two other officers had inspected the safety parameters of the rolling stock and said that a report would be filed and submitted to the Railway Board within a week.
- 29 April CMRS provides conditional approval for commencing services between Koyambedu to Ashok Nagar - subject to correction of some technical issues pointed out by the CMRS team. Inspection of the remaining stretch between Ashok Nagar to Alandur could not be carried out owing to some issues and Metro Rail will operate only with a single track in this stretch
- 19 May After several discussions among organisations including Commissioner of Railway Safety (CRS), Commissioner of Metro Rail Safety (CMRS) and Ministry of Civil Aviation, a decision was made to amend the rules, So that, from Koyambedu to Ashok Nagar, Chennai Metro will run with operations on both tracks and from then on till Alandur, in a single track.
- 26 May Final inspection completed for Koyambedu to Alandur line and Metro officials expect the final approval as mere formality and expect the clearance anytime soon
- 29 June Chennai Metro Rail operations started. The first journey of Chennai Metro Rail was started from Alandur station at 12:14 pm and terminated at Koyambedu station at 12:35 pm.
Cost and escalation
When the Chennai Metro Rail project was initiated in 2007, the estimated cost of the 45-km route in phase I was around ₹14600 crore (US$2.1 billion) with a forecasted 5% increase. As of 2014, the project cost came to ₹20000 crore (US$2.9 billion). As against an earlier estimate of ₹1000 crore (US$150 million) for the land, it touched ₹2500 crore (US$370 million) in 2014.
Phase II of the Chennai metro rail project is estimated at ₹36000 crore (US$5.3 billion). The project is being funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (59%), 20% by the Union government and 21% by the state government.
Chennai Metro runs in standard gauge measuring 1,435 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/m, as against 52 kg/m used by Indian Railways. The life of the rails too is twice as that of the ordinary ones. The cost is 20% 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 ₹ 500 crore.
Alstom won its first metro rolling stock contract in India to supply 168 bogies (coaches) and 16 additional metro bogies (coaches) to Chennai Metro for €243 million. Alstom will supply Chennai Metro's public operator with 42 train-sets composed of four coaches each. Alstom Transport has set up a metro coach manufacturing unit at Sri City SEZ at Tada, Andhra Pradesh, about 75 km from Chennai. The first nine trains will be made in Lapa, São Paulo, Brazil and the remaining 33 will be made in Sri City. Each coach costs CMRL ₹ 90 million. 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. 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 m, with each car measuring 22.5 m. Each 4-carriage train will have a carrying capacity of 1,276 people and each 6-carriage train can carry 1,580 people. A single trip in a 4-carriage 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.
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.
Electricity for the Metro will be supplied by Tamil Nadu Electricity Board. 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 sub-stations. 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. 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. The sub-stations will receive power from the state grid and convert it for use. Besides, the network will also have three auxiliary sub-stations to supply power to stations and three traction sub-stations 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. The 110/33/25-kV sub-station is gas-insulated switch gear type sub-station, which accommodates approximately one-tenth of space required for conventional open-yard switching station, offering increased reliability and safety. It is an unmanned sub-station as all equipments from 110 kV GIS to 110 V DC supply are automated and can be operated from Operational Control Centre at the CMRL administrative building at Koyambedu.
The traction of trains accounts for more than 60 to 80% 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. Chennai Metro Rail, which uses Alstom's metropolis trains, is expected to save 30 to 35% of power through regeneration compared with the average of 20% saving of Metro railways worldwide. Energy consumption of the Chennai Metro Rail will be one-fifth as that of the city's road traffic.
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% of the load. There are also plans to install solar panels on the terraces of the five stations.
The Metro has a depot at Koyambedu. The depot features ballast-less tracks of 15 route kilometres. 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.
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
The Operation Control Centre (OCC), the nerve centre 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.
CMRL is planning to build a 20-to-25-storied building on a 10-acre plot at Koyembedu for its headquarters building.
Once operational, Chennai Metro will operate trains for 19 hours a day from 5:00 am to 12:00 am. 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. CMRL is planning to increase the frequency to one train every 2.5 minutes once footfalls reach 600,000 passengers a day. Metro trains are designed for operating speed of 80 km/h, and the trains will have an average speed of 34 km/h and will halt at every station for about 30 seconds. The system can carry more than 30,000 passengers per hour per direction.
Upon its opening, the Chennai Metro is slated to adopt a fare based ticketing structure. Minimum fare will be ₹ 10 and maximum would be ₹ 40. This is more costly than other metros in India, and slightly more expensive than the Delhi metro.
The first car in each train will be first class with tickets costing twice as much as the second class tickets. However, in February 2014, Chennai Metro Rail hinted that the fares will be between ₹ 10 (for the shortest distance of 1.5 km from Koyambedu to CMBT stations) and ₹ 30 (for the longest distance of 25 km from Washermanpet to Airport stations).
With this fare structure, some media in India foresee the Chennai Metro as viable only for the middle class and those with higher socio-economic status and not for the low-wage workers commuting to the city from the outskirts.
The metro system will provide connections with various other transportation modes in the city. They are listed below at the proposed station site:
- Chennai Suburban Railway network: Washermanpet, Chennai Fort, Chennai Park, Chennai Central, Chennai Egmore, Guindy, Meenambakkam, and St Thomas Mount.
- Chennai MRTS: Chennai Fort, Park Town, Chintadripet and St Thomas Mount.
- Chennai Metropolitan Transport Corporation bus terminuses: Broadway bus terminus, Chennai Central, Chennai Egmore, Anna Nagar, CMBT, Vadapalani, Ashok Nagar, DMS, Saidapet, Guindy and St Thomas Mount.
- Chennai International Airport
- Southern Railway: Chennai Central and Egmore.
- State Express Transport Corporation: CMBT.
- Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation: CMBT, Vadapalani and Guindy.
- Chennai Contract Carriage Bus Terminus: Koyambedu.
Originally, three lines covering a distance of 63 km were proposed for the second phase of the network. A detailed project report was to be prepared in a year regarding feasibility of the proposed lines. 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.
However, in 2012 the new government by ADMK, scrapped the prior phase-II plans and went for fresh study. 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. The State government has, reportedly, set aside ₹ 36,000 crore 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 ₹ 475 crore.
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 ₹ 150 crore, the underground network may cost about ₹ 500 crore/km. 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. Surveys are set to begin, by September-2015, for a Detailed Project Report (DPR) on, the proposed, three new lines - and they are expected to complete in six to eight months.
The initial plan was to cover 76 km on the three corridors and was later modified to cover 88 km. In November-2015, the CMRL started looking into possibility of extending the 3 lines by additional 35km, to a total of 123 km.
Madhavaram to Siruseri (41 km)  Via Moolakadai Junction, Perambur Railway Station, Aynavaram Bus Terminus, Purasaiwalkkam, Chetpet, DPI, Mount Road, Radhakrishnan Salai, Luz, Lighthouse, Thiruvanmiyur and OMR
It is proposed to extend the third corridor by nine kilometres and extend it till Red Hills from Madhavaram. At this stage, it is undecided whether this could be an elevated or underground stretch, but this would reach the Puzhal and Red Hills residential areas. A clearer plan will emerge once the feasibility report is out.
Officials are looking at the possibility of extended this line till Poonamallee (from Koyambedu), adding 11km to the 14km corridor which will cross the Maduravoyal and Vanagaram residential areas. This stretch may be partially elevated.
Madhavaram to Perumbakkam (32 km) via Kolathur, Villivakkam, Padi, Anna Nagar West, Thirumangalam, Mogappair, Madhuravoyal, Valasarvakkam, Chennai Trade Center, OTA, Madipakkam, Kilkatlai, Medavakkam 
This route might have a slip route from Anna Nagar West to Ambattur OT (7 km) via Anna Nagar West, Lucas/Korattur, Padi/Brittania, Ambattur Industrial Estate, Ambattur Telephone Exchange/Chennai Bypass Junction, Ambattur OT
Officials are also looking at the possibility of extended this line till Wimco Nagar (from Madhavaram). This could mean that 14.7 km stretch will be added to the proposed 33 km stretch. This has been suggested from an operational point of view as the depot is in Wimco Nagar. This would benefit residents of Manali New Town and Masilamani Nagar.
Takeover of MRTS
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.
Parks taken over for construction
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.
Upon completion of the construction work, all the four parks will be renovated at a cost of ₹ 2 crore.
Accidents and incidents
- In August 2012, a construction worker was killed and six others were seriously injured due to a crane boom failure near Pachaiyappa's College.
- 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.
- 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.
- On 17 June 2015, a 30-year-old Software Engineer, L Giridharan was killed on the spot when an iron rod fell on him at an under construction Metro Rail station near Officers Training Academy at St Thomas Mount around 9 am. The iron rod also hit another motorcyclist, U Mansoor. He escaped with minor injuries.
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.
- Chennai Metro - Line 1
- Chennai Monorail
- Chennai Mass Rapid Transit System
- Chennai Suburban Railway
- Transport in Chennai
- List of rapid transit systems in India
- List of metro systems
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- K. Manikandan; Meera Srinivasan (10 January 2013). "Girder crash kills worker at Chennai Metro Rail site". The Hindu (Chennai).
- Sunitha Sekar; Petlee Peter (11 January 2014). "Metro Rail worker dies as crane topples". The Hindu (Chennai).
- "Software techie dies as iron rod falls on him". New Indian Express (Chennai). 17 June 2015.
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