Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami and Union Minister of Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri on Friday inaugurated two key underground sections of Chennai Metro’s 45.1 km Phase 1 project at a ceremony held at Egmore Station. Both sections with 6 new stations extend the metro’s reach deeper into the city’s historic core and add another 7.4 km of route length to make the system’s operational network length 35.3 km long.
Green Line: Nehru Park – Central (2.6 km)
New Stations: Egmore and Central
This section was built by L&T – SUCG JV (Nehru Park – Egmore; Package UAA04 ) and Afcons Infrastructure (Egmore – Central; Package UAA01), and the final TBM breakthrough was achieved in December 2016.
Trial runs (testing) on this section began in January 2018 and the Commissioner of Metro Railways Safety (CMRS), Shri K.A. Manoharan, from the Indian Railways’ Southern Circle inspected it between May 14-15 (see images).
Blue Line: Little Mount – AG-DMS (4.8 km)
New Stations: Saidapet, Nandanam, Teynampet and AG-DMS
This section was originally awarded to the Gammon – Mosmetrostroy JV but was abandoned in May 2015 due to financial issues right before the package’s last 2 TBM breakthroughs. Afcons Infrastructure was roped in by CMRL to perform the section’s final TBM breakthrough in September 2015, and around the same time CMRL awarded a contract to Larsen & Toubro for completing all balance/pending civil work at the 4 stations.
Trial runs down the Saidapet Ramp through this section’s tunnels to AG-DMS began in March 2018. The CMRS inspected it between May 18-19 (see images), and soon after issued a certificate declaring both sections of the Green & Blue lines to be fit for operations subject to the completion of pending finishing work at all stations.
Some Images –
A comprehensive 19:40 minute long video by a rail fan –
Key Takeaways –
• Chennai Metro’s network at 35.3 km (see operational map) is now larger than Kolkata’s 28.1 km and Hyderabad’s 29.8 km metro networks, making it the third largest in the country after Delhi’s 252.5 km and Bangalore’s 42.3 km systems.
• The Green Line is now entirely operational. End to end, from St. Thomas Mount to Central it covers a distance of about 22 kms.
• The Blue Line is now 13.4 km long and only about 9.80 km of route length, from AG-DMS to Washermenpet, is left to be opened in Phase 1.
• CMRL plans to run trains with a headway of five minutes (instead of the present 7 mins) during rush hour and at 10 minutes during off-peak hours. They plan to increase train frequency if ridership picks up from the present average ridership of 35,000 on weekends and 30,000 on weekdays.
• CMRL will be giving free rides on the entire network until Saturday night. This is great to give local residents a feel of the metro system, but high fares (see revised fare chart) after this promo period ends will continue to dissuade travelers from riding regularly, especially when alternate convenient modes of suburban rail & bus systems are available. I believe scenes like this will continue until a much-needed fare correction takes place.
For more updates, check out the Chennai section of The Metro Rail Guy!