The Tamil Nadu government has decided to extend Chennai Metro’s Line-4 from Poonamallee Bypass to Parandur Airport with multiple stations within the upcoming airport’s boundary, per Economic Times.
Chennai’s 26.1 km Line-4 connecting Light House to Poonamallee Bypass is currently under construction as part of the 116.1 km Chennai Metro Phase 2 project. A consultant was appointed in April 2023 by Chennai Metro Rail Ltd. (CMRL) to explore the feasibility of extending the line to Sriperumbudur, which I estimate would be anywhere from 15-17 km long.
The state government has now decided to extend the line all the way to Chennai’s new greenfield airport in Parandur for which land acquisition of over 3700 acres and master plan design works are underway. I estimate the route from Poonamallee Bypass to Parandur will be roughly 40 km long, less than half of what (93 km) the Economic Times reported.
Here’s my purely fictitious take on how its alignment running primarily along NH-48 may look like. There’s a possibility of it also running along the under construction 260 km Bangalore – Chennai Expressway between Sunguvarchatram and Parandur.
Stations between Poonamallee – Parandur are planned to be spaced 7-10 km apart, which to me is too high given the urban development expected to take place in the region. Stations on Bangalore Metro’s Blue Line, popularly known as Airport Line in Phase 2B, are spaced 3-5 km apart which is apt.
CMRL plans to procure trains capable of operating at higher speeds than regular metro trains, which usually have a design speed of 90 kmph. Multiple stations are expected within Parandur Airport where an aerocity with commercial, retail & hotel developments are planned, similar to the ones in Delhi, Bengaluru and Hyderabad.
CMRL’s consultant plans to prepare an initial feasibility report by April 2024 suggesting the line’s alignment, estimated cost, projected ridership, station locations and numbers.
There’s a long, long way to go for Parandur Airport’s land acquisition to be completed, its masterplan is finalized and construction work begins, so I don’t see construction on the metro line to it starting anytime prior to 2028 which itself will need to go through the regular motions of Detailed Project Report (DPR) creation, approvals and financing.
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