BENGALURU: With the model code of conduct now in place, the official launch of the first six-car Metro train is now set to take place only in June, after the new State government is installed and new ministers assume office.
Bengaluru Development Minister K J George had announced an April-end launch when BEML handed over the first three-car set to the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) on February 14 to facilitate integration with the existing 3-car train. The present maximum train capacity of 975 passengers will double to 1,950 passengers when six coaches are operated.
According to sources in the government and BMRCL, the six-car launch marks a prestigious occasion for Bangalore Metro. “As is the norm for all BMRCL functions, the inauguration will be a grand affair with prominent ministers doing the honours. With the new government to be in place only by mid-May and the available dates of the new ministers to be finalised, the launch is not likely to take place before June,” said a Metro source.
Meanwhile, the first six-car set is still undergoing numerous tests. At the Baiyappanahalli depot, trial runs are held on tracks during nights with sandbags used in place of passengers to provide the necessary load.
A highly placed Metro source said,“The brake software required to operate the automated brake system was delivered to BMRCL last night by German firm Knorr-Bremse.”
The existing brake software had been readied to match only three-car trains and so it has to be altered to suit the longer Metro train. “Metro operations are fully automated and programmed to stop at different stations. Emergency brakes are also provided for use by the loco-pilot whenever required.” The brake system software now has to be tested.
“Several tests are being carried out simultaneously. We need the permission of RSDO, Commissioner of Metro Rail Safety (CMRS) and the Railway Board before we begin operations,” the official said.
A top railway official said additional permission is needed from CMRS and Railway Board to run them at a higher speed of 80 kmph. Now, only three-car trains have this permission.”