BENGALURU: The first trial run of the Metro along the underground tunnel of the North-South Corridor is all set to take place after Sunday. This will be the most important step towards completion of Namma Metro’s Phase-I, which is racing towards the April deadline for completion.
With a portion of the northern corridor as well as the entire East-West corridor fully completed, the opening up of Metro services in South Bengaluru is eagerly awaited. With an interchange at Kempe Gowda Metro station, the City’s North, South, West and East will be connected once this underground tunnel is declared open. Ridership is set to treble from the existing daily average of 1.7 to 1.8 lakh per day.
The Underground Corridor of the East-West line was declared open on April 29 by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah. The underground section of the North corridor (Green Line) between Sampige Road and Kempe Gowda Metro stations and the South Corridor between Kempe Gowda and National College Metro stations are the only sections where trial runs of trains are yet to take place.
Speaking to Express, Managing Director of Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (BMRCL), Pradeep Singh Kharola said, “Tracks in both the underground tunnels have to be laid. We have completed electrification except for the stretch between Chickpet and Majestic (Kempe Gowda Metro station) in one tunnel. This will be completed within two or three days.”
BMRCL will hand over the tracks to Alstom, the French agency which is also in charge of Metro’s signalling systems, for testing within 3-4 days time. “In all likelihood, we will see the first Metro train run along the underground corridor on Sunday or at the latest, a day or two after that,” he said. The corridor connects Mantri Square Sampige Road to National College.
Trial runs on the elevated section of the southern corridor began on November 23, 2016. Trains were run between National College and Jayanagar initially at a speed of 10 kmph. “Trial runs are now being conducted at 25 kmph on the entire 8-km route between National College and Yelachenahalli,” Kharola said.
Over considerable duration time the trials were being held along the elevated corridor, Chief Public Relations Officer U A Vasanth Rao said “various aspects pertaining to track safety had to be tested enroute too.”