The Commissioner for Metro Rail Safety (CMRS) last week gave its final approval to the Chennai Metro Rail Ltd (CMRL) for starting commercial services on the 8 km Koyambedu – Nehru Park underground section of the 22 km Green Line between St. Thomas Mount and Central Stations. This comes after the CMRS and its team conducted a 2-day visual inspection of the line on April 12 and 13. At this point, it isn’t known whether they gave a blanket approval or a conditional one which would require the CMRL to make technical modifications or complete a part of its infrastructure before beginning services.
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.
This is the 3rd stretch of the line to get ready after the Koyambedu – Alandur section opened on 29 Jun 2015 and Alandur – St. Thomas Mount section on October 14 2016. The CMRL started trial runs between Koyambedu & Anna Nagar East stations in April 2016, extended them to Shenoy Nagar in July 2016 and then to Nehru Park in October 2016. Some nice images and videos from the underground section can be seen here: [Pics] Chennai Metro’s First Underground Section Nearing Completion and [Pics] Chennai Metro’s Nehru Park Station – March 2017.
This section includes 7 stations at Thirumangalam, Anna Nagar Tower, Anna Nagar East, Shenoy Nagar, Pachaiyappa’s College (erst. Aminjikarai), Kilpauk Medical College and Nehru Park:
The 2 day safety inspection was carried out by K A Manoharan from the India Railways’ South Circle based out of Bangalore. His team visually inspected the tracks, tunnels, air-conditioning systems, fire-fighting mechanism and passenger amenities, and was the last step before the Chennai Metro Rail Ltd. can commence commercial operations.
Local news coverage:
In addition to the inspection videos below, check out this video on Eenadu’s website.
There’s currently some minor finishing works pending on the entry/exit structures leading to/from the underground stations. The line’s opening now depends on when that work is completed as well as the availability of local & union government officials to attend its opening ceremony, so it could open anytime in the next 5 – 40 days.
Whenever it opens, Chennai will become the 5th city to operate an underground metro line after Kolkata, Delhi, Jaipur and Bangalore. Its network’s length will become 27.9 km long – just shy of Kolkata Metro’s 28.14 km Line-1.
For more updates, check out the Chennai section of The Metro Rail Guy!