Politics paints CMRL Metro coaches anew

CMRL coaches, red and black till Aug. 2011, changed colour after AIADMK came to power

In Chennai, trains too can change their colours — in keeping with the twists and turns in State politics.

The colour of Chennai Metro Rail’s (CMRL) coaches is said to have been changed from red and black to blue and black for political reasons.

“We changed the colour after the AIADMK government came to power,” said a highly-placed source with CMRL.

Red and black until August 2011, the Metro train turned blue and black in September that year.

This was evident from the monthly newsletter, published by CMRL, which provides updates about the progress of the Metro Rail project. Till August, the pictures of the train painted red and black were displayed in the newsletter. However, pictures from the following month showed the train in blue and black.

The CMRL project was launched in 2009 when the DMK government — whose party colours are red and black — was ruling the State. In May 2011, the AIADMK came to power.

One mock-up train in red and black, said to cost around Rs. 5 crore, had been manufactured in Sao Paolo, Brazil, by this time.

It had to be repainted in the new colours before being shipped to Chennai, said a CMRL official.

“The mock-up reached the city in November 2012 and is now housed in an undisclosed location. There is a plan to put it up for public view and a request for this has been sent to the chief secretary,” he said.

Early in June this year, the Metro train arrived in Chennai and was to be tested on the 800-metre test track at the depot in Koyambedu. However, the test run is yet to be carried out.

CMRL officials earlier told they had plans for the Chief Minister to flag off the test run and had sought a date from the chief secretary.