In little over six months, the city will get its first ever metro train that is currently being built at a rolling stocks factory in Brazil.
The train — with four coaches — will reach Chennai by March 2013, according to a senior official of Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL). A total of nine trains will arrive from Brazil and 33 trains will be assembled indigenously, at a factory set up by Alstom in Tada, Andhra Pradesh. The 42 trains that would criss-cross the city will have four coaches each. Subsequently, they will be stationed at the depot coming up in Koyambedu.
A team from CMRL went to the Alstom factory in Sao Paulo, Brazil, for the car shell structure qualification test — a test performed to check the structural strength of the train to carry passengers safely. Officials said the test was satisfactory and the desired standards had been met.
In the next couple of weeks, the team will visit Brazil again to have a look at the mock-up of the driver’s cabin. Once cleared by CMRL experts, all other trains would be modelled on it. The next important test — a safety test to determine resistance to fire — will be conducted in Europe soon. A test to determine the capability of the traction equipment is planned for September.
Meanwhile, the Factory Acceptance Test (FAT) of Train Borne Communication System was conducted in Singapore. Features such as a public address system were simulated and tested as part of this test.
With work on different metro stations progressing rapidly in the city, many residents and motorists wonder what the current enclosed spaces with giant machines would look like eventually, and what it would be like to board a swanky metro rail coach.
In fact, some metro rail enthusiasts had uploaded pictures of what they called ‘the first metro rail coach’ in Chennai on social networking sites. However, CMRL officials said those pictures were not of the actual trains.