Tracks, trains, stations gear up for commercial run on Reach 1

It takes just 13 minutes and 16 seconds to reach M.G. Road from Byappanahalli with 30-second halts at the four stations en route for Namma Metro. And unlike normal trains, there is no rattling on the city's much-awaited, hassle-free public transport system except for a mildly unsettling screech while negotiating a curve.

Time-saver

Chances are a good many Bangaloreans on this route would jump on the Namma Metro ride, which will shave off at least half an hour of valuable time without much stress.

Ahead of the safety inspection by the Commissioner for Metro Rail Safety (CMRS) for the scheduled mid-September launch, Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd., (BMRCL) authorities took a team of journalists to metro stations on Reach 1 to show the progress.

This exercise came in the wake of Chief Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda's Wednesday directive to BMRCL to be transparent in its functioning following complaints from reporters.

Ready for operations

While the metro trains have been making trial runs between Byappanahalli and M.G. Road for the last few months, there were worries about the readiness of the stations.

However, Thursday's run revealed that civil works are almost complete and workers were giving finishing touches to the stations.

The ticket counters and entry/exit gates are located on the ground floor at M.G. Road Station whereas in other stations (except Byappanahalli station which is at the ground level) they are on the first floor. Escalators are ready to take passengers to the platforms.

Signage in place

Signage, public announcement system, security guards, clearly marked platforms, train fares, pass details and so on are in place.

The air-conditioned train, which comprises two driver-motor coaches flanking a trailer coach, has adequate facilities for travelling passengers, seated as well as standing.

Disabled-friendly

Every coach has a multiple passenger information display system to announce the next station in three languages — Kannada, English and Hindi. The first door immediately behind the metro train pilot's coach is wide enough for a wheelchair-bound passenger, whom the pilot can help board and alight.

While the speed certificate issued by the Research Design and Standards Organisation (RDSO) caps it at 75 kmph, the train's average speed will be between 32 and 35 kmph because of the halts.

Inspection

A BMRCL spokesperson said that the Railway Board has to declare Namma Metro open for public carriage, after which the CMRS will conduct the safety inspection. “We have forwarded the application to the board,” he said.

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