The manufacture of metro cars for the city has begun at a factory set up by French company Alstom Transport. The first train set (four coaches) will be ready in 2013. Although the formal inauguration of the factory at Sri City near Tada in Andhra Pradesh is likely to take place only in March, work began in October itself, said officials of the Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL).

Alstom was awarded a Rs. 1,471-crore order for the manufacture of 168 metro coaches.

Nine train sets (36 coaches) will be produced and tested by Alstom at their Lapa factory in Brazil, while the remaining cars will be produced at the site in India, said Jojo Alexander, managing director, Alstom Transport India.

CMRL officials said the purpose behind setting up a factory in the country was the promotion of indigenous manufacturing and reduction of cost.

“Also, having a manufacturer locally makes servicing and maintenance easier,” said a CMRL official.

The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC)’s contractor Bombardier Transportation manufactured metro cars in Savli in Gujarat.

Meanwhile, the model coach made at the factory in Brazil arrived in Chennai early this month and it may be taken to Sri City before CMRL puts it up for public viewing in Chennai.

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