Chennai Metro Rail starts trial run on 2.5 kilometer stretch

File Photo: Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu (then Union Urban Development Minister), Minister of State for Shipping and Road Transport Pon Radhakrishnan, Chief Minister K Palaniswami flagging off the first underground metro rail service from Thirumangalam to Nehru Park in Chennai in May 2017
The Chennai Metro Rail has conducted its first train trial run at a distance of about 2.5 kilometres between Nehru Park and Chennai Central, marking a step ahead to completion of the long duration project. This will add to the Metro rail services, which currently cover abut 28 km in various stretches in the city.

The CMRL has said that the first train in the underground stretch of 2.5 km was undertaken on completion of track and overhead electrification works. 

"Further, finishing as well as tests and trials are under progress. This will ensure completion of entire Corridor-II (Green Line) of the Chennai Metro Phase - I Project," it added. The Safety Commissioner has to now conduct an inspection, said sources.

Once operational, the Corridor-II will connect Central Railway Station and Egmore Railway Station, the two major railway stations in the city, to the major bus station Mofussil Bus Terminus in Koyambedu and from there to the International Airport at Meenambakkam. The Blue Line between Koyambedu and Alandur, connecting the Airport has already been operational. 

This would enable the commuters to travel across the city to reach other modes of transport comparatively in a lesser timeframe. It is expected to take another four to six months to complete work in the stretch where the trial run has been conducted, before opening it up for full-fledged operation, said the officials.

Governor Banwarilal Purohit in his first address in the Tamil Nadu Assembly earlier this month said that the remaining part of the underground sections of the 45 kilometer Phase-I stretch of the Chennai Metro Rail Project will be operational in stages by the end of 2018.

The Phase-I extension, covering a length of nine kilometre from Washermenpet to Thiruvotriyur / Wimco Nagar, is also under implementation. Three more metro rail corridors covering a total distance of 107.5 kilometres under Phase-II of the Chennai Metro Rail Project at an estimate of Rs 799.62 billion (Rs 79,962 crore) have been approved and recommended by the State Government to the Government of India for obtaining external aid, he said.

According to sources, work on the Chennai Metro Rail started in 2009 and original the estimated cost was around Rs146 billion (Rs 14,600 crore) for the Phase-I, but it was increased to Rs 200 billion due to delay owing to various reasons.

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