Away from the public gaze, work is on at the Uppal depot on an 8-kilometre long ground-level track

An eight kilometre railway track on the ground is being laid inside the Uppal Metro depot, to function as a test track for Metro trains before services begin on the elevated sections.

Running of Metro trains will be first simulated on the track, supported by the traditional ballast and equipped with the latest communications and signalling network.

Another 10 km of track, divided into two sections, will also be laid for maintenance. All Metro trains will be gradually brought to the ground level from the elevated sections inside the 100-acre depot, said Hyderabad Metro Rail Managing Director N.V.S. Reddy.

While citizens are privy to Metro Rail work in the form of piers (pillars) coming up in different locations across two of three designated corridors – L.B. Nagar to Miyapur and Nagole to Shilparamam, work at the Uppal depot was fast progressing, away from the public eye. The other major depot is the 104-acre one at Miyapur.

It was once a marshy land and the concessionaire L&T Metro Rail Hyderabad (L&TMRH) was gutted at first look.

“Many local farmers of the area came forward to give up their land for the project in return for compensation and developed plots. It took us about 50,000 trucks of gravel to bring the ground to shape,” Mr. Reddy revealed.

Apart from the test track and the huge main workshop in 3.5 acres, an electric sub-station is coming up to supply power exclusively to the project. The nerve centre for the running of the Metro for all three routes — the Operations & Communications Centre’s (OCC) five-storied structure — is being expedited on a one-acre site.

“The OCC monitors the Communication-Based Train Control (CBTC) system, practically a driverless technology as ‘drivers’ will only open or close doors. It will be a first for India, allowing trains to be run every 90 seconds,” he said.

A three-kilometre boundary wall has been built around the depot, which is to be guarded by the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) once the facilities are ready to roll, Mr. Reddy added.

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