Once a sleepy suburb identified with the New Government Electric Factory (NGEF), Byappanahalli is now set to become a multimodal transport hub involving metro, railway, and inter and intra-city bus services.
This transformation started with the major operation and maintenance base of Namma Metro being located at Byappanahalli.
One of the two corridors of Metro phase I, the east-west corridor begins at Byappanahalli and ends at Mysore Road terminal, a distance of about 18 km.
The Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd. (BMRCL), which is executing the project has set up an expansive depot at Byappanahalli on about 50 acres of land.
The depot is the backbone of all operations on this corridor and has yards for maintenance, stabling and repair, an operational control room and a test track among other things.
This is where the maintenance staff ensures that the trains run between Byapanahalli and M.G. Road without any glitch and on time.
“Thirty-five people work on three shifts to maintain the trains,” said Sudhir Chiplunkar, General Manager (Rolling Stock and Transmission), BMRCL.
A typical working day for maintenance staff starts after 10 p.m. and by 11 p.m., trains reach the lines one by one. These trains undergo thorough cleaning, exterior as well as interior. Then a system check is undertaken by the technical staff who fix problems if any.
By 4 a.m. the next day, fitness certificates are issued declaring the trains track-worthy. Air-conditioner filters of these coaches are cleaned once in 10 days.
Apart from the daily check, the trains undergo thorough inspection every 72 hours where the under-gear is inspected.
There are other inspections too: ‘A' check once in 14 days, ‘B' check once in 45 days and so on.
“The trains are monitored on a regular basis and each train set has separate registers and log books to record their history,” Sudhir explained.
There is a repair bay to fix major problems even as a wheel turning lathe is commissioned to rectify wear and tear on the wheels.
At present, six train sets, each comprising two driver-motor coaches and one trailer coach, are in service for Reach 1. While four of them are on regular run, one is kept as standby while the last one is at the inspection bay.
BMRCL has adopted several unique techniques for operating Namma Metro such as the use of a third rail system for driving the train.
Under Namma Metro phase II, the east-west corridor will be extended till Whitefield (15.5 km) in the east and Kengeri on the west (6.5 km). The Byappanahalli depot will cater to these extended portions as well.
The depot also houses the operational control room, the nerve centre of Namma Metro operations.
Here, everything connected to the operations, right from power supply to movement of passengers inside the metro stations are regularly monitored and regulated.