Kolkata East-West Metro ready for Trial Run between Central Park & Sec-V

KOLKATA: Kolkata Metro Rail Corporation (KMRC) is likely to launch a trail run on a 3km stretch between the Central Park depot and Sector V station on Wednesday.

This will be the first time that one of the two six-car rakes housed inside the depot will venture out after an informal test run was carried out on the 1km stretch within the upkeep-cum-parking hub on June 20. PSU Bharat Earth Movers Limited (BEML) has built the rakes and is in charge of the 38.5-acre stabling line as well.

An official, though, said in case of heavy rain, the trial run would be started from Thursday.

The trial run, which will synchronize trains with the system, will be done since electrification of third rail (from where the train will derive power) of three East-West Metro stations — Sector V, Karunamoyee and Central Park (all in Salt Lake) — could be completed last Wednesday.

Ahead of the trial run, senior officials of KMRC, which is implementing India’s first underwater Metro corridor project between Howrah Maidan and Sector V along with those from BEML, convened prolonged meetings at the Central Park depot. Over the last one month, especially before the electrification of third rail in the three stations was completed , KMRC officials flew to Bengaluru, where BEML is headquartered, for insights into running the rakes. A team of experts from BEML will assist KMRC in conducting the trail runs.

On Tuesday, KMRC engineers were conducting inspections to check safety parameters including track and alignment. Test-charging of the third rail of the three stations was done around 5pm.

There will be two sources of power in each station. One is the sub-station, from where electricity is transmitted to the third rail, and the other is the auxiliary source, which supplies power to the stations and other areas. Work for the sub-station is almost over.

While the train propulsion system has been procured from Japanese firm Mitsubishi, the signalling system is from French firm Ansaldo Signaling and Transportation Systems. Without propulsion and control equipment, no train can move.

The first phase of the project — between Sector V and Salt Lake stadium — is expected to be operational in October. Last-minute touches are being given to the stations — six on this stretch. Electrical charging of third rail at other three stations will be completed in the next fortnight.

The stretch, which will give residents of Salt Lake access to the mass transit system for the first time, will, for now, link Sector V with Salt Lake stadium, and eventually till Howrah Maidan through the under-river tunnel. This will cover only 6km of the ambitious project that aims to connect the eastern part of Kolkata to Howrah in the west through a 16.5km Metro link across the Hooghly river by 2021.

Construction of the viaduct in Salt Lake had started in 2009, but the 6km stretch has gone through several land hurdles.