CMRL Runs Loco on Chennai Metro’s Phase 1 Extn to Wimco Nagar

As with tradition, Chennai Metro Rail Ltd. (CMRL) today ran a diesel-powered locomotive through the tunnels and viaduct of their new 9.051 km Chennai Metro Phase 1 extension project which’ll extend the Blue Line from Washermenpet to Wimco Nagar through 8 new stations.

Prior to commissioning any stretch of the project, CMRL has always either ran an old-school diesel locomotive or an OHE inspection wagon to check for infringements along the way. The installation of overhead electrification (OHE), signaling and other sub-systems is still ongoing, so “official” trials or train testing is yet to begin.

Chennai Metro’s Phase 1 extension project consists of a 2.4 km underground section, with tunnels built by Afcons Infra, and a 6.6 elevated section, with 8 new stations at Sir Theagaraya College, Korrukupet, Tondiarpet, Toll Gate, Thangal, Gowri Ashram, Tiruvottiyur and Wimco Nagar:

Phase 1 extension project (Washermenpet – Wimco Nagar) – View Chennai Metro Phase 1 Extension info & map
Photo Copyright: CMRL
Photo Copyright: CMRL

CMRL is publicly peddling that this extension will open by the end of January 2021 (official deadline), but that’s just not possible and I’m looking at it opening no sooner than mid-2021.

There’s far too many steps left, which include the completion of civil work (station & ramp area), station architectural finishing work, system work, actual train testing by Alstom trains, certification by Independent Safety Assessor (ISA) – Bureau Veritas, inspection by Commissioner for Metro Rail Safety (CMRS) etc.

December 27 Update: Trial runs have started – see details & picture here.

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


written by

Global traveler who prefers mass rapid transit

8 Responses to "CMRL Runs Loco on Chennai Metro’s Phase 1 Extn to Wimco Nagar"

  1. Srinivasan Sundaram says:

    Hi , they have renamed phase 1 extn. stations. Now station names stand as follows : sir theagaraya college , tondiarpet , new washermanpet , tollgate , kaladipet , thiruvottiyur theradi , thiruvottiyur , wimco nagar .

  2. Kumaran says:

    Cmrl says they are going to open last jan or early feb in press relase and tv channels also saying the same…. now you are saying its impossible… how long it will take to complete remaining work. When they will start to check with alstom train?

    • TMRG says:

      Independent infra-related journalism doesn’t exist in India. Journalists rely on operators’ press releases (or Whatsapp messages) and then write or speak to the audience exactly as told. Outside of Bangalore and to an extent Kolkata, I haven’t seen journalists ever questioning a metro operator’s claim. It’s a shame that even if they know something is not possible, they’d rather chose to mislead the public than piss off the operators.

      Siemens needs to first complete electrification work before the Alstom trains can be run. I don’t have their completion schedule at this time, but once that happens CMRL might just run a train manually for PR purposes without waiting for signaling work to be over. Let’s see how things play out.

    • Ganess says:

      I am from north chennai, I use to travel through this construction work to office daily. Still there are lot of exterior works pending.. I don’t think the work will get complete in the Jan 2021. I think it may take mid of March.


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