The city has to wait for nearly two to three weeks to have a glimpse of the four Chennai Metro Rail (CMR) rakes from Brazil as the unwrapping and coupling will happen only after the yard is ready, according to a CMR spokesman.
The four rakes that were transported to the Koyambedu yard by the Namakkal Transport Carriers’ (NTC) modular hydraulic axles on Thursday were unloaded on the track with much care on Monday.
Metro Rail sources told Express that the unloading process began around 11 am after the tracks were cleared of cement and dust. “It was to be unloaded around 10 am but there was a delay of an hour,” a metro rail source said.
The first rake was unloaded using a 125 metric tonne mobile crane which had an NTC Spreader Bar, a lifting device, designed and approved by structural engineers of IIT-Madras. “Officials ensured that the crane ropes did not touch the sides of the coach to avoid any damage to it. NTC Spreader Bar was used for the first time in Chennai,” the sources added.
As soon as the first rake was in suspension, Alstom officials cut open the sides of the tarpaulin and removed the wheel lock before the coach was placed on the rail. After that the labour force moved it to some distance to make way for the second coach to be unloaded on the rails. The whole operation to unload the rakes took around three hours and the final coach was placed on the rail by around 2 pm. The Metro Rail is likely to be unveiled within the next two weeks when the shed work is expected to be finished. Sources said the 800 metre test track in the `198 crore state-of-the art depot is on the verge of completion.