BENGALURU: To the sound of loud cheers and claps and non-stop clicking of photos, the first train with Metro officials on board chugged off from the Sampige Road Mantri Square Metro Station to Yelachenahalli at 6.20pm after President Pranab Mukherjee did the honours via remote from Vidhana Soudha.
Loco pilot Shanti Raj was the lucky one to steer the first train and the slow movement of the train was beamed live to the jampacked audience watching the proceedings on giant screens during the function. Unlike previous occasions, newspersons were not permitted to interact with the first driver.
Mediapersons were permitted on board along with officials only on the second train which left at 6.25 pm steered by loco pilot Divya. As is the norm in all new Metro train launches, the coaches were decorated with Purple and Green balloons.
The joy of South Bengalureans was palpable. As the train chugged along slowly, many waved to those on board from balconies and terraces of houses along the route. Some attempted to take hurried shots of the moving train.
Four lucky passengers managed to get on board the train. Senior citizen S Rao was the early bird among the public who hopped on to the train along with the media at Sampige Road station.
Visibly excited to be on board the second run, he said he would use the Metro to carry out his banking work. “I am really happy about this service and had been waiting to go on the train for long. My bank is near National College. If I board a Metro train, I can easily reach there in future within minutes escaping all the road traffic.” He used to take a bus early.
Two other girls boarded the train en route.
An employee in a private firm managed to enter the train at Kempe Gowda Metro station. “I am just excited to be part of the second ride of the new South-bound train,” he said.
The train stopped only at KR Market and RV Road stations en route and touched Yelachenahalli at 6.53pm. As the train passed by, one could still notice finishing touches being given on the platforms here.
However, on the return trip from Yelachenahalli, the train stopped for a few seconds at all the stations.
It is not clear if it was a minor security lapse that allowed the few to hop on to the train or officials were just being lenient today after all the happiness over the commissioning of this stretch. Security though was tight throughout.