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Metro takes shape in Samba land

CHENNAI: The first set of coaches for the Chennai Metro Rail Ltd (CMRL) is getting ready at Alstom’s plant at La Paz in Brazil. The company has also begun groundwork to set up a plant outside Chennai to mass produce coaches.

A consortium of Alstom Transport SA France and Alstom India Ltd bagged the Rs 1471.3 crore contract to design, manufacture and supply 168 coaches for the CMRL in August 2010.

Alstom will supply 42 four-car rakes made of stainless steel. “The first four or nine rakes will be made in Brazil and shipped to Chennai while the rest will be manufactured at a plant that is being set up near Sri City on the Tamil Nadu-Andhra Pradesh border,” said a senior official of the Chennai Metro Rail. “Production has started making shell of the coaches,” said chief general manager public relations of Chennai metro Rail S Krishnamoorthy.

The Brazil-made coaches will be shipped here to be used during trial runs on the Koyambedu-St Thomas Mount elevated line by the end of next year or early 2014. Work on the Chennai plant is progressing fast and a fitting shed has been completed in January.

The company has also started manufacturing battery, traction motor, coupler and gangway. Metro officials have approved the shell of the coach after inspection. More inspections will be carried out on prototypes in the coming months.

A prototype of a passageway (gangway) connection between the coaches is ready and Alstom has conducted an internal test. Metro officials will inspect the gangway by end of next month.

The stainless steel coaches will be airconditioned with automatic sliding doors that will offer easy access to passengers. The trains, which will run at 80 km per hour on 25 KV power drawn from overhead wires, can reach a maximum speed of 90 kmph. Rakes will also have regenerative braking system to save energy. Metro Rail is planning to operate one train every three minutes to meet peak-hour rush.

Alstom has provided train control and signalling systems for Delhi Metro Rail and is installing them in the Bangalore metro rail.

The company has already sold over 3,000 cars for metro trains worldwide, including cities like Singapore, Shanghai, Paris and Santiago.

Source: Indiatimes

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