BMRCL to Procure Approx. 96 Coaches for Gottigere – Nagawara Line

The European Investment Bank (EIB), which is one of the two lead financiers of Bangalore Metro’s 21.415 km Line-4 (Reach 6) between Gottigere and Nagawara, has revealed on their website that the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation will be procuring “about” 96 new metro coaches to run on this new line of the 73.95 km Phase 2 project.

The bank’s board of directors on July 7 2017 approved the line’s funding to the tune of 500 million Euros (approx Rs. 3750 crores), and the funds from this loan deal are expected to cover about 30% of the line’s civil construction and system procurement cost.

BANGALORE METRO RAIL PROJECT – LINE R6
Construction of a 23km metro line and purchase of a fleet of about 96 metro cars in Bangalore, Karnataka, in southern India
link to project summary

No further details on the coaches’ dimensions or configuration have been listed, but that information can be found in the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment prepared by the BMRCL in May 2017. As per the document, the trains will have a maximum width of 2.88m similar to the current BEML trains on the Green & Purple lines and will be operated in 3 & 6 coach formations, with the six car configuration looking like:

DMC + TC + MC + MC + MTC + DMC
For reference, DMC = Driving Motor Car ; MC = Motor Car ; TC = Trailer Car

Coach Capacity (crush load figures)
• Driving Motor Car: 43 seated & 210 standing (253 total)
• Motor & Trailer Car: 50 seated, 230 standing (280 total)

Unlike the BEML trains on the Purple and Green lines which are powered via a 750V DC bottom contact third-rail system, trains on this line are now confirmed to be powered by a 25kV AC overhead equipment (OHE) system with planned substations at Hulimavu & Nagawara.

A BEML train on Bangalore’s Green Line – Photo Copyright: Mitsubishi Electric

The project page on EIB’s website is updated quite frequently as & when a project moves through the different stages (appraisal, negotiation, approval etc.) but an accurate count of the new coaches will emerge only when the BMRCL receives a thumbs up from the EIB and invites bids from rolling stock manufacturers.

If the 96 coach figure holds up to be true, then trains can be operated in a number of ways:

• 32 train-sets of 3 coaches (under capacity, but a high headway of about 3 minutes can be achieved)

• 16 train-sets of 6 coaches (acceptable capacity, but a high frequency cannot be achieved)
Here’s a rough calculation assuming an estimated time of 84 mins for each train to complete a round-trip journey (40 min per direction & 2 min turn-around time) –
16/84*60 = 11.42 vehicle frequency with a headway of 5:15 mins

• Mix of 3-coach & 6-coach train-sets (undesirable capacity during peak hours, high frequency cannot be achieved)

Bear in mind that not all trains are operated simultaneously as some are kept on stand-by and some might go undergo maintenance, so 96 coaches are not ideal in any sense from a capacity and frequency stand-point. Hopefully this figure goes up by 1.5x in the tender documents or later during the project’s implementation, otherwise commuters will encounter the same frequency-capacity-personal space issues they’re facing right now on the Purple & Green lines.

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

– TMRG

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Global traveler who prefers mass rapid transit

19 Responses to "BMRCL to Procure Approx. 96 Coaches for Gottigere – Nagawara Line"

  1. VENKAT says:

    Why OHE for this line and not third rail? What is the thinking behind this. Isn’t it better if the entire network follow a single system?

    Reply
    • TMRG says:

      To answer your and Arvind’s question below – OHE systems are the preferred choice for high-speed lines, and they must have chosen it due to the line’s impending extension to the airport which’ll have minimal stations in between.

      Here’s a great piece on its advantages (and disadvantages) which include lower cost of power supply equipment, improved efficiency and higher efficiency of energy from the train’s regenerative braking.

      BMRCL’s CPRO in 2016 tweeted that they’ve gone back to 3rd Rail for this line, but all recent official documents (like the EIA linked above and this Phase 2 executive summary) show they’re sticking to OHE.

      Reply
      • Sunil says:

        As per the link you shared, 3rd rail system allows 160kmph max speed. So choosing OHE is not due to high speed airport corridor??. I dont think we can reach 100kmph in Blr.

        Reply
        • TMRG says:

          Cost is the biggest factor here as lesser substations would be required. AC is always preferred for longer ‘express’ lines with few stops in between.

          Reply
  2. arvind says:

    Any idea why they decide to move away from the third rail system for electricity?

    Reply
  3. Muthu says:

    Your calculations are dimensionally wrong 🙂 The interval between trains of 5.15 min translates to a frequency of 11.42 trains/per hour and not 11.42 min headway. I think that is what you mean.

    Looks like the strategy of metro operations is to quote crush load as the actual running capacity and if it runs lesser than that, claim that it is not crowded enough and hence, can’t increase its frequency or coaches. Namma metro is definitely not for the faint hearted.

    Reply
    • TMRG says:

      You’re right! Frequency is trains/hour and not the interval between trains. I’ve relabeled the figures.

      Reply
      • Muthu says:

        Meanwhile, have any bids called for procurement of additional train sets for the Reach 2,3 and 4 extensions?

        Reply
        • TMRG says:

          Nothing on that yet.

          The Green & Purple lines will become approx 75 km long after Phase 2, and it would be disappointing if they procure anything less than 120 new coaches for the extensions. Ideally they should aim for 150-210 coaches, and of course run them all in 6-coach configurations.

          Reply
          • som pandit says:

            TMRG
            can you say
            why Bmrcl dont take resignation of there contract staff if anybody wants to leave this then why BMRCL dont release them.

          • TMRG says:

            That’s something for the management & staff to take care of; I can’t help in its resolution.

  4. GK says:

    any info on Gottigere-nagwara elevated stations location? Why are they not making it public as they did for underground section.

    Reply
  5. SD says:

    If London Underground with 6 coaches per train can run in 1 minute interval during peak hours what is stopping BMRCL? London Underground is close to 120 years old and with old infrastructure they can achieve that, what’s stopping these ppl?

    Reply
    • Muthu says:

      Cost and demand! There are not enough trains to run at that frequency and I don’t think we have achieved that much demand that we need a train every min. Maybe another 50 years later where Bangalore might have a network of 500km+, it might be worth it. We might not be around to see it even 🙂

      Reply
      • SD says:

        oh yes! demand is there. i travel from bg road (south blr) to manyata(north blr) every day. the moment the north south line opened we all were trying to find feasibility route. unfortunately, didnt work. we do carpooling right now and are sick and tired of the traffic – spend 4 hrs every day on the road. so, yes, metro would be a very welcome change. there is demand, huge demand. just that the politicians are busy minting money. they dont want to listen to our woes.

        Reply
      • Parthasarathy S says:

        Demand? If there’s anywhere in world that a metro can be in demand, then it is Bangalore. I do agree that we have a long way to go to reach London/Pari’s subway systems but the demand is undeniable. Particularly once Phase-2 is complete.

        Reply
  6. Parthasarathy S says:

    Well, these guys just don’t seem to learn. They can make a neat profit from day one by running additional coaches and get praise. But, no! They just want to go-live with project and then wait for everyone to cry for sometime and then order additional coaches with 2 years wait time. Perhaps it was wise for Phase-1 but phase-2 will be part of existing network and demand is a sure thing. The only logical thing could be lack of money/funding but where’s fun in having built all the infra with jsut about half the number of coaches as required.

    Reply
    • Shashidharv says:

      I agree BMRCL is hopeless in planning , They took 10 years to construct phase 1 and another 2 years to get 3 additional coaches , why would any foreign bank/finance Institution fund BMRCL if these people are taking 12 years to run phase 1 fully , assuming that end of 2018 we get additional 3 coaches for all trains .

      Sky bridge/connecting bridge is not completed for KSRTC, Railway Station or Yeshwantapur Railway station even these would take another 1 year or so to complete .
      BMRCL should take the initiative and complete the projects and increase the coaches much sooner to increase daily commuter ship to 5 lakhs+ and increase the revenue .

      BMRCL thinks building metro track without proper accessibility and connectivity to railway station, bus station, both sides of road

      Reply

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