Bangalore Metro Reach-2 likely to be opened by June 2015

Bangalore (SBC): The much awaited moment for Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) finally arrived on Thursday evening when a Metro train passed through the underground tunnel covering a distance of one kilometre from MG Road depot to Cubbon Park station on the East-West Purple line.

BMRCL Managing Director Pradeep Singh Kharola, who was present during the first trial run of the underground track along with several senior officials of the Namma Metro, said the train will travel to Magadi Road station either tonight or by Friday. It is most likely to emerge on Sunday at the elevated station.

Since the electrification is still to be done on the underground stations of Vidhan Soudha, Central College and City stations, the train will either be pulled or pushed by a battery operated loco till the Magadi Road-Mysore Road stretch.

“Once the train reaches there, the safety trials will be conducted and the stretch (Reach 2) is most likely to be opened by June this year,” said Kharola.

The officials of the operations department, rolling stock, signalling and others, who had spent sleepless nights over the past one week preparing for the big moment on Thursday, finally heaved a sigh of relief when the train moved on the underground track at a speed of 10 kilometre per hour. Before inviting the media to witness the big feat, BMRCL had a few hours of test run.

Speaking with the media later, Kharola said: “As much as 93 per cent of the work has been completed on the Phase I and first tender for Phase II will be out in a fortnight. Financially, there is no problem to complete the work,” he added.

The cutter dispatched from Italy for the tunnel boring machine stuck in Chickpet, will arrive in fifteen days, Kharola said.

Loco pilot ecstatic

Deenadayalu, the loco pilot of the train, said: “I feel glad to be part of this historic moment. To have driven the Metro train for the first time at an underground section is very satisfying.”

Deenadayalu, from BEML, has been part of all the trial runs and testing that BMRCL has undertaken so far. “In Indian Railways, we have to take so many safety measures. But in Metro, everything is taken care of. Actually, the train is driving the driver not vice versa.”