Chennai Metro to conduct trial runs on elevated track this month

Chennai:  Chennai Metro Rail chugging on the elevated stretch of Koyambedu-Ashok Nagar can be witnessed by the end of this month, if things are in place. A Metro Rail spokesman told that the trial run of the train that was imported from Brazil was expected to take place by this month if all systems were in place.

“We are trying our best to get it rolling this month although some minor track works are still pending,” he said. The first train imported from Brazil made a test run at the Koyambedu yard two months ago, after being flagged off by Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on November 6.

Meanwhile, work on the elevated stretch is progressing smoothly and the entire stretch, excluding the one between Officers’ Training Academy (OTA) and the Chennai Airport, is expected to be completed by the middle of this year, Metro Rail sources said.

Tender has been awarded to a firm to build the airport station, while another tender for laying the viaduct between OTA and Chennai Airport was opened last week.

The near six-km stretch has been delayed due to the termination of the contract of Lanco Infratech Limited due to delay in execution of work. Meanwhile, the biggest challenge for Metro Rail would be to lay the viaduct over the Guindy Railway Station and utmost care would be taken in this regard, said a senior Metro Rail official. He said while laying the viaduct, the trains which may be plying to and from Guindy might be required to slow down.

“This is a big challenge but we will complete it successfully like we did it in the Kathipara junction,” he said.

Interestingly, the underground stretch is expected to be completed by the end of 2015 or likely to be extended to 2016.  Nearly 35 to 40 per cent of the work on the  underground stretch had been completed, the official said.