Coach with 14 seats will be close to driver’s cab, one section to be earmarked for women

Chennai Metro Rail will have a first class compartment, and within it a women’s section, according to official sources and a bid document put up on its website.

Both Delhi and Bangalore Metro Rail have only one class of compartments. The Delhi Metro Rail has a separate coach for women.

“The first class will be close to the driver’s cab and a part of this coach will be reserved for women,” said an official of Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL). The official bid document ‘Operations and Maintenance Services for Phase 1 of Chennai Metro System’ mentions the first class rake in the four-car arrangement.

The first class compartment will have 14 seats and the other compartments 44 seats each. Each train will also have four seats earmarked for the elderly and four for the differently abled.

“There is nothing special about the first class coach except that the seats will have some extra cushioning and there will be limited space available for passengers to keep their baggage,” the official added.

Sources in CMRL said that the fares for first class may be twice as expensive as those for second class.

The Metro is coming up at a cost of Rs. 14,600 crore along two corridors – one connecting Washermanpet to the airport; and the other Chennai Central to St. Thomas Mount. The project is likely to become operational in the middle of next year in the Koyambedu–St.Thomas Mount stretch, and will be fully functional by 2015.

The network will have a total of 42 trains. Nine of these are being made in Brazil and the remaining at the special economic zone, Sri City in Andhra Pradesh.

Test run next week

The test run for the first train that arrived from Sao Paolo in Brazil in July is likely to happen on the 800-metre test track at the Koyambedu depot next week. The trains will run at an average speed of 34 km/hr from 5 a.m. to 12 a.m.

This article has been corrected for an editing error.

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