In an unannounced move, the Chennai Metro Rail Ltd. yesterday operated a train from the Koyambedu Depot to the Anna Nagar East underground station! The train entered the underground stretch of the 22 km Chennai Central – St. Thomas Mount line through the Thirumangalam ramp, and then briefly stopped at the Thirumangalam, Anna Nagar Tower and Anna Nagar East stations before heading back to the depot.
Other details about this run are a little sketchy at the moment, and the CMRL’s otherwise fantastic Facebook page has been awfully quiet about this development. It may be interesting to note that this move comes just a day prior to Bangalore’s Metro 4.8 km east-west underground section being inaugurated and celebrated as “South India’s first underground metro” all over the local media. That just might have put pressure on the CMRL to show some sort of progress, especially since the final TBM breakthrough for the UAA-05 section (Thirumangalam ramp – Shenoy Nagar) took place in December 2014.
Track-work on this section was completed in late 2015 after which the CMRL ran an OHE inspection wagon through the corridor. The steel framework seen on the platforms are of the Platform Screen Doors (PSDs) which the CMRL’s contractor recently started installing (view details) for safety & maintenance reduction purposes.
The CMRL is aiming to start operations on the Koyambedu – Shenoy Nagar section by the end of the year, but that might not be possible with the amount of work left within the stations and the time required to conduct trials, test all systems and conduct the required CMRS safety inspection for beginning operations.
For more updates, check out the Chennai section of the The Metro Rail Guy!