Hyderabad Metro Rail’s track tests surprise citizens

हैदराबाद Hyderabad: L&T Hyderabad Metro Rail Limited has begun test runs on a small stretch from its Uppal depot to Secunderabad section.  Hyderabad Metro Rail carried out its first alignment, track, signalling and communication tests on the bridge outside the Nagole depot, all the way up to the Survey of India station on Thursday.

Incidentally, people were not aware that the authorities had planned the tests on Thursday. When residents of neighbouring buildings realised that the Metro officials were conducting the track tests, they ran for their terraces and balconies to have a look.

Hyderabad Metro

The three coaches, branded with advertisements, however, operated on a half-a-km stretch. A senior engineer said, “We need to test all the components in the train, including air-conditioning, signalling, track and alignment issues. These need to be checked and also verified whether they are synchronising with each other. These are routine tests and many more such tests will be conducted.”

The concessionaire L&T expects to commission first stretch of 8 km of the 72-km elevated metro project by March 2015. Once the trial runs are completed, it will take up detailed tests of the rail network.

The Rs. 16,000-crore project seeks to decongest three dense corridors in the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad. The work on various stretches is now underway, including construction of depots and metro stations in the phase one of the project.

The metro bridge from Nagole depot to Uppal now has electric current and hence is a high-security zone. The tests require extreme caution as any variation needs to be reported and verified.

V.B.Gadgil, the chief executive and MD of L&T, the contractor for the Metro Rail project, said, “There are several tests to be conducted on the train. Once we are convinced, inspections will be carried out and safety certificates issued. After that, the trial runs will be conducted.”

On Thursday, the train carried only three officers. After a few days, load testing will be carried out when the train will be loaded with cement bags to check how much load it can carry, said a Metro official.

The project has sourced metro rail coaches from the Hyundai-Rotem consortium.

A metro project of this size and magnitude goes through a number of tests across various parameters. This was for the first time that the metro coaches were rolling out in public on the viaduct, attracting people’s attention. There was no official communication on the test runs.