Kolkata Underwater Metro: Train To Run Every 12 Minutes from December 2023

Kolkata Underwater Metro: Train To Run Every 12 Minutes from December 2023

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Last Updated: September 08, 2023, 15:46 IST

The underwater metro train will run at a speed of 80 km/h.

The underwater metro train will run at a speed of 80 km/h.

Kolkata Underwater Metro: The East-West corridor will cover a total distance of 16 kilometres, while the first underwater stretch will be 4.8 kilometres

Kolkata is set to create history as the city will welcome India’s first underwater metro at the end of this year. The Kolkata Metro Rail Corporation (KMRC) is expecting to finish work on the first stretch of the East-West metro corridor by December.

Once it begins operation, trains will run every 12 minutes, KMRC MD V K Srivastava told the Times of India. According to him, the services will be limited due to certain issues in the Sealdah-Esplanade section. The East-West corridor will cover a total distance of 16 kilometres, while the first underwater stretch will be 4.8 kilometres, connecting the Esplanade area with Howrah Maidan.

As revealed by Srivastava, the Commissioner of Railway Safety will inspect the Esplanade-Howrah Maidan stretch at the end of November. The service will start once the department shows the green signal. Train trials are on in the under-river section. We may invite the Commissioner of Railway Safety for inspection in November. Operations should start in December-end,” Srivastava was quoted as saying by TOI.

The KMRC began trials on the Esplanade-Howrah Maidan stretch on April 13. Since there is a shortage of stabling space at the Howrah Maidan end, the two rakes that are doing the trial runs were transported from the Central Park depot in Salt Lake. The rakes were mounted on temporary tracks through the eastbound tunnel’s incomplete gaps.

A battery locomotive carried the BEML rakes to Howrah from the Sealdah-Esplanade stretch. According to Asim Majumdar, the KMRC director, both rakes will be transferred to the Central Park depot at least once a week since these hi-tech rakes require regular maintenance. The Kolkata Metro Authority is planning to complete the eastbound tunnel by December. Without this line, it will be difficult to transport the rakes from the Central Park depot every week.

Complex construction issues are delaying groundwork on the East-West corridor. The most challenging one is the 2.4 km Sealdah-Esplanade segment. Subsidence on this stretch has prevented the corridor from running straight from Sealdah to Howrah Maidan.

To battle this issue, the KMRC has joined hands with the Norway-based GeoFrost to deploy ground frosting techniques at Nirmal Chunder Street that are expected to better the soil condition. This feature will freeze up the ground including the water table, making it ready for micro-tunnelling.

“We are trying to start the work before the Pujas,” Srivastava said. The authorities have also taken several measures to stop water from entering the tunnel. Fly ash and micro-silica concrete mixtures are used to prevent water flow.

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