The collective efforts of thousands of labourers have seen the elevated Metro Rail tracks emerge between Koyambedu and St. Thomas Mount. However, with CMRL grappling with delays, there have been setbacks with the trial run and commissioning of the stretch

Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL) officials had earlier told The Hindu they were planning to carry out a trial run before the commissioning of corridor I from Koyambedu to St. Thomas Mount in mid 2014.

With CMRL grappling with delays, they have been contemplating carrying out the run between Koyambedu and Ashok Nagar, officials now say.

“We have been facing delays in completing St. Thomas Mount station where other modes of transport, including MRTS and Southern Railway, will be integrated. One main reason for this is the delay in MRTS work. So, now we are thinking of at least doing the trial run till Ashok Nagar by December this year,” said a senior official of CMRL.

He added that, due to the delays they may change the initial plan and commission the stretch only till Alandur by mid 2014.

In June 2009, the work commenced with the construction of the elevated viaduct. The collective effort of thousands of labourers, for over three years now, has resulted in the completion of the elevated tracks of Chennai Metro Rail on large stretches through the city.

Earlier in 2013, the first train arrived, and now, 7 km of track work and the structures of three stations — Koyambedu, CMBT and Arumbakkam — have been completed.

Before the trial run can take off, officials have to carry out the test run which will involve the first Metro train running on the 800 metre test track specially constructed for the purpose inside the Koyambedu depot coming up at a cost of nearly Rs. 198 crore.

Though the train arrived from Sao Paolo in July, CMRL is still awaiting a date for the test run. “We are finishing the static tests and have sought a date from the Chief Minister for flagging off the test run. In case we don’t get a date from the CM, we may go ahead with the test run sometime next week,” said the official.

If the test and trial runs go by the given schedule, the commission of rail safety may further examine the train, sites and facilities in June 2014. Only after receiving the commision’s nod can CMRL throw open the facility for public use.

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