After wrapping up Purple Line’s inspection this weekend, Janak Kumar Garg – the Commissioner of Metro Railway Safety (CMRS) on Tuesday completed a two-day final safety inspection of Kolkata Metro Line-2’s 3.9 km Howrah Maidan – Esplanade section.
This underground section with 4 new stations at Howrah Maidan, Howrah, Mahakaran and Esplanade in the coming weeks will become the fourth and penultimate leg of Kolkata Metro’s east-west Green Line to open up for commercial operations.
Kolkata Metro Rail Corporation (KMRC) started trial runs (train testing) on this section connecting Howrah and Kolkata cities in April 2023.
This Monday and Tuesday’s statutory inspection involved assessing all four passenger amenities, control room & safety facilities, a motor trolley inspection of tracks and CBTC signaling installed by Hitachi Rail STS. The inspection ended on Tuesday afternoon with a speed trial run in which one of the line’s fourteen BEML trains touched a maximum speed of 90 kmph from Howrah Maidan to Esplanade.
Afcons Infrastructure constructed Howrah Maidan, Howrah and Mahakaran stations as part of Package UG-1, while ITD Cementation India constructed Esplanade Station as part of Package UG-2.
Construction for its twin tunnels was carried out by Afcons using tunnel boring machines S-639 (Rachna) and S-640 (Prerna) between 2016-2018.
Both machines passed under the Hooghly River in June 2017 and recorded their final tunnel breakthroughs at Esplanade Station in December 2017. Fun fact – after getting refurbished, both machines were recently redeployed to build Kanpur Metro’s tunnels as TBM S-639B (Vidyarthi) and TBM S-640B (Azad).
Here are some snaps from the inspection:
As I’ve mentioned in the past – approvals from the CMRS are always conditional in nature, so we’ll have to wait and see what conditions are laid out for KMRC to rectify before the start of operations, how quickly remediation work is performed and a compliance report is sent back to the CMRS.
Post-inauguration, Kolkata Metro’s Green Line will become 13 km long and consist of 2 disjointed sections due to ongoing construction (tunnel re-enforcement & cross-passage) activities in Bowbazar neighborhood – located between Esplanade and Sealdah. As some of you might recall, tunneling works here came to a halt in August 2019 when ITD Cementation’s TBM Chandi (S-615) hit an aquifer leading to heavy soil displacement and the collapse of several buildings.
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