Chennai Metro’s 8 km Koyambedu – Nehru Park Section Inaugurated

Just about an hour ago, Tamil Nadu’s Chief Minister and the Union Minister for Urban Development inaugurated commercial services on Chennai Metro’s 8 km Koyambedu – Nehru Park underground section of the 22 km Green Line. The event culminated with an Alstom train getting flagged off from the launch ceremony held outside of Thirumangalam Station – the western most station of the new section.

Chennai Metro Rail Ltd. has not yet updated their website with a new fare chart (view old), and plans to absurdly issue only Rs. 100 smart cards on this section. On the operations side of things, they will utilize both tunnels between Koyambedu – Shenoy Nagar and only the down-line tunnel between Shenoy Nagar – Nehru Park, as the Nehru Park Station lacks a train reversal facility. Due to this, it will maintain a 15 minute frequency in the underground stretch until the Nehru Park – Central section opens up in 2018.

Although the Airport – Little Mount section of the Blue Line consists of a small 600m underground section near the airport’s secondary runway, the Koyambedu – Nehru Park stretch is the city’s first true underground section to open up connecting 7 underground stations at Thirumangalam, Anna Nagar Tower, Anna Nagar East, Shenoy Nagar, Pachaiyappa’s College (erst. Aminjikarai), Kilpauk and Nehru Park:

Koyambedu – Nehru Park section of Chennai’s Green Line – view Chennai metro map & information

This new section was built by 2 contractors:

UAA-04: Shenoy Nagar – Egmore – built by L&T-SUCG JV
UAA-05: Thirumangalam Ramp – Shenoy Nagar – built by Afcons–Transtonnelstroy JV

Images taken prior to its inauguration can be viewed here. For a brief high-level history, from bidding to tunneling to testing to approvals, see this post.

Smiles outside of the event – Photo Copyright: Sunitha Sekar

Photo Copyright: MV Naidu

Inaugural plaque – Photo Copyright: MV Naidu

Flagged off! – Photo Copyright: Daily World

Leaving Koyambedu – Photo Copyright: Delli Genesh

Photo Copyright: Kenko Sone

Photo Copyright: Kenko Sone

Media going crazy – Photo Copyright: Sunitha Sekar

Photo Copyright: The Hindu

Photo Copyright: Jagadeesh

AFC Gate – Photo Copyright: Mitesh Jain

Photo Copyright: CS Lakshmi Narayan

Photo Copyright: CS Lakshmi Narayan

Photo Copyright: CS Lakshmi Narayan

Photo Copyright: Madras Techies

Photo Copyright: Madras Techies

Photo Copyright: Madras Techies

Photo Copyright: CS Lakshmi Narayan

Photo Copyright: CS Lakshmi Narayan

Updated route map within the trains – Photo Copyright: Madras Techies

Photo Copyright: Sridhar Durairajan

Videos
Ride from Koymabedu to Thirumangalam:

A packed train:

A nice comprehensive video:

Key Figures:

• Chennai has become the 5th city in India to operate an underground metro line after Kolkata, Delhi, Jaipur and Bangalore.

• Chennai is the 2nd city after Delhi to have operational platform screen doors (PSDs) to ensure passenger safety and reduce electricity consumption.

• Chennai Metro’s network has now expanded to 27.9 kms across 2 lines featuring 20 stations. Here’s a map with all terminals and key stations:

Chennai Metro’s operational network as of May 14, 2017 – view Chennai Metro map & info

• The Green Line is now 19.3 km long and connects St. Thomas Mount to Nehru Park. Its final 2.7 km eastern extension to Central Station via Egmore is expected to open in 2018. The final TBM breakthrough for it took place in December 2016.

For more updates, check out the Chennai section of The Metro Rail Guy!

– TMRG

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Global traveler who prefers mass rapid transit

31 Responses to "Chennai Metro’s 8 km Koyambedu – Nehru Park Section Inaugurated"

  1. vish says:

    I got to ride on the first train for free and it was great. Train went nonstop to Nehru Park with politicians and metro users.

    Reply
  2. gourav says:

    why you are add Jaipur metro in the list.the underground section are underconstruction am I right TMRG

    Reply
  3. Syed Khaja says:

    #Bengaluru stand 2nd in route length. Any idea in coming years which city will snatch it’s position?

    Reply
    • TMRG says:

      For the next 5 years, it’s going to be a 4-way battle between Hyderabad, Bangalore, Mumbai and Kolkata:

      Hyderabad has 66 km U/C right now which should be ready by 2019.

      Bangalore’s network is 30.3 kms long with another 12 km opening this year and 15 km (purple & green line extns) opening in 2019/2020

      Mumbai’s existing line is 11.4 km long and the city will add another 33.5+16.5+18.6 kms of new lines between 2020-23.

      Kolkata’s existing line is 28.1 km long and has different lines totaling 65+ km U/C, but each is embroiled in a myriad of land acquisition issues which are slowly being tackled.

      Reply
  4. Muthu says:

    I co-incidentally took the trian from Nehru Park to CMBT as I had to catch a bus to Bangalore in the afternoon. Few observations

    1. Only 1 entrance in Nehru Park, Kilpauk and Pachaiyappa’s college are open as of now. Work on the remaning are ongoing.
    2. Platform screen doors are awesome. They just make the underground station much more bearable and the AC is well controlled. In Bangalore, the underground platforms sometimes are unbearable and the ACs can’t really do much because of the open tunnel. Also, the walls are well done and the stations don’t smell of cement. In Bangalore, one year after opening the stations, the smell of cement and paint are sometimes very irritating to the eyes and there are a lot of eyesores in the walls which are unpainted.
    3. Rs.100/- cards are going to be a huge deterrents. Stupid idea. Unless people are crazy like me to take a card despite knowing I will not use the metro. Except for the initial days during the excitement, I don’t see many one-time users like outstation users taking the trains. It will be useful only for regular commuters. Given that the blue line connects chennai central, CMBT and airport, it should ideally encourage all the outstation travelers to use the metro and this is going to be a huge deterrent!
    4. Also, had a couple of technical glitches during the journey. @ Annanagar Tower, the platform screen door never opened and eventually the train moved on to the next station. I think these should be resolved.

    Lastly, I have one question. What is the pack frequency that is being planned for both the lines? Looking at the way Alandur interchange is designed which handles trains for both lines on the same track, is it really possible to run 3 min interval trains on both the lines? If both the lines are run at 3min, Alandur should take trains at 1.5min intervals right?

    Reply
    • anant says:

      1. Thanks for detailed review.
      2. Yes the platform doors are awesome, and keep the ac working properly. (Bangalore should also install them to save power).
      3. Good to know there is an other person as crazy to buy the card despite there is no use of it.
      Hope the keep the fare low for sometime atleast. As this is much better than the taking buses.

      4. Glitches for the door seemed to have been addressed as i didn’t see them while use the same station in night.
      The drivers have to learn to align to the doors properly i feel.

      Reply
      • TMRG says:

        #3 – something needs to be done about those high fares! I understand they need to pay back their loan to JICA, but these fares won’t get them too far ahead.
        #4 – good to know!

        Reply
    • TMRG says:

      Muthu – thanks for your observations!

      The system is “designed” to allow a high frequency of 2.5 minutes on each line, but with Alandur allowing trains to switch between lines, I’m not sure how that affects operations or whether they’ll be able to improve on that.

      I heard of some technical glitches as well with PSDs sometimes not opening and the passenger display system showing Shenoy Nagar instead of Nehru Park. Hopefully those issues are resolved in the coming weeks.

      One user messaged saying they’ve discounted the Rs 100 cards down to Rs 10 for a limited time. Not sure how true this is or to what extent. But anyhow, the decision to issue only smart cards was a silly move which’ll dissuade or make some users think twice before riding it. Ridership is already very low (was about 15k daily for 19.9 km before this section) and is not expected to improve significantly if they pull off moves like this.

      Reply
    • Karthik says:

      Psd problem in underground stations was 100% solved trains are running smothly cmrl trains are like ferrari cars runs fastly safely new stations are awesome

      Reply
  5. Muthu says:

    A couple of more observations which I had made but not listed down were

    1. The underground stations have seating arrangements unlike in Bangalore.
    2. There were no announcements inside the train. I don’t know if it was just on day 1 or is it going to be like that.
    3. And the last thing which I enjoyed the most in the Chennai metro vs Bangalore metro was the non-existence of those loud beeps while opening and closing the doors. It does beep but it is mild and doesn’t hurt the ears!

    Reply
  6. VIRENDRA JOSHI says:

    Congratulations TMRG Team Superb

    Reply
  7. Arun says:

    A Question. Is it needed to change train in the Koyembedu station if I am travelling to Nehru Park from St Thomas Mount or Is there is a direct train from St Thomas Mount to Nehru Park. What will be the one way fare? Can some one please clarify?

    Reply
  8. Subramanian says:

    What is the status of the two TBMs that are mining towards DMS from LIC? How much distance is left for those TBMs to make a break through at DMS?

    Also can you give an update of the track work/electrification work between Saidapet and DMS stations?

    Thanks,
    Subramanian

    Reply
    • TMRG says:

      Hi, I don’t keep a watch on track/electrification work. I’m trying to ascertain both TBMs’ progress right now. Will post an update when I hear back.

      Reply
  9. Karthij says:

    Cmrl management is utter waste in completing the phase1 extn and phase1 remaining work works are executed in tortrise move wake up cmrl do push your contracter asap

    Reply
  10. T. Rangachari says:

    TMRG,
    What is the current ridership per day since the new line has been opened ? What was the ridership before please ?

    Reply
    • TMRG says:

      Previous ridership (19.9 km) – roughly 15k/day
      New ridership (27.9 km) – roughly 35k/day (as per TOI)

      Give it another month or so for ridership to stabilize for a more accurate picture.

      Reply
      • Muthu says:

        If this were a very critical line, it should have immediately seen a huge spurt in crowd. Look what happened to Bangalore metro after underground opened and from day 1,it was overcrowded and they had to increase the frequency within a week. If it is only 35k per day, it shows that the patronage is not so great so far which shows that the only way this can be popular is after connecting to Central which I think is a good 1 year away. Also I think the 15 min frequency is just a huge deterrent.

        TMRG, do you have an answer to my other question on why they can’t run on both the tunnels at between Nehru Park and Shenoy Nagar. It is there on a previous article on the Chennai section?

        Reply
        • Karthij says:

          Nehru park station doesn’t have crossover switch once central terminus open trains frequency can be increased

          Reply
          • Muthu says:

            I know there is no train reversal facility but technically is the following method not possible? I posted this as a comment in one of the earlier blogs.

            ————————————————————————-

            Hi TMRG,

            Regarding the following statement above

            “For commercial operations, the CMRL plans to utilize both tunnels between Koyambedu – Shenoy Nagar and only the down-line tunnel between Shenoy Nagar – Nehru Park, as the Nehru Park station lacks a train reversal facility. Due to this, it will maintain a 15 minute frequency in the underground stretch until the Nehru Park – Central Station section opens up in 2018.”

            Is it necessary that only the down-tunnel needs to be used? Technically, every alternate train can go to alternate tunnels after Shenoy Nagar and reverse back on the same tunnel and switch over before Shenoy Nagar right? I agree, it can get confusing for passengers because the signboards and the trains will not match but that isn’t a technical limitation. That way you can perhaps run trains at 8 min frequency instead of 15min and demand a larger patronage hopefully. I think a 15 min interval is just very infrequent to migrate private transport guys to the metro. Perhaps the MTC bus folks would move over!

          • TMRG says:

            Technically possible, but I feel the CMRL purposely doesn’t want to go down that route due to the low ridership.

  11. SS Brothers Travels says:

    Really work class faciltiy by CMRL. Now lot of new stations have live. Hope it really going to serve the Chennai people a lot

    Reply
  12. Vijay says:

    Kindly let me know ,is there is a direct metro rail from nehru park to vadapalani station and what is the fare.

    Reply
  13. Rasslin says:

    First timers still have doubt, 1) whether direct train to alandur and airport from Nehru park. 2) only 100 rupee smart card is issued or in addition to that normal actual fare token is issued.
    Lack of marketing and clarity desist commuters using this . For good patronage clearly visible display boards indicating the stations that metro passes through be displayed outside stations which may help road users. Instead of empty trains a marketing strategy – low fare high patronage until central station is linked with airport.

    Reply
  14. Janarthanan says:

    Metro train timings from koyambedu to Nehru park on all days incl. Sunday

    Reply

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