A sleek, stainless-steel prototype of the Hyderabad Metro Rail was unveiled by Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy in a glittering ceremony on Necklace Road on Wednesday morning.

The prototype, built by Hyundai-Rotem, will be on exhibit near the P.V. Gyan Bhoomi for a month. Entry is free for all.

What is being displayed is actually half-a-coach, said HMR Managing Director N.V.S. Reddy, adding that a full coach would be 22 metres long and 2.9 metres wide.

“It is the biggest public-private-partnership (PPP) project, built at an estimated cost of Rs.14, 000 crore. Once completed, the Metro will add value to the city and become another jewel of Hyderabad like the PVNR Expressway and the Outer Ring Road,” the Chief Minister said.

About 171 coaches are required for the entire project, of which three coaches are expected to arrive by March 2014, followed by 21 others a year later. L&T Metro Rail Hyderabad Managing Director V.B. Gadgil said the coaches are being built with the state-of-the-art Communication-Based Train Control (CBTC) system, a first in the country.

The overall design and interiors had been finalised after seven months of discussions, he said. Each of the fully air-conditioned coaches will be equipped with closed-circuit cameras, video-screens, sockets for charging mobile phones, laptops, etc. LED displays will announce the arrival of stations in three languages.

Though the trains have the capacity to travel 80 kmph, average speed would be 30-40 kmph, given that routes would be punctuated by stations every kilometre. Initially, there would be trains every three to five minutes; the frequency would go up to a train every 90 seconds.

Initially, three-car trains will run with a capacity of 1,000 passengers, which will gradually become six-car trains with a capacity of 2,000 passengers. This translates to 60,000 riders being transported in a single direction every hour, with a train every two seconds.

Mr. Gadgil said the trains’ movement will be controlled by the Operations and Control Centre (OCC) located in the Nagole depot.

The role of the 'driver' is to ensure opening or closing of doors since the trains will not move even if there is a gap of even and inch. He will also be having an emergency button to be operated if necessary.

Twenty per cent of the total Metro Rail work, 80 per cent of the Nagole depot and 50 of the Miyapur depot have been completed thus far, Mr. Reddy added.

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