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Metro Rail coaches arrive from Brazil

Special Correspondent
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More to arrive in batches from July

A Metro Rail coach being unloaded at the Chennai port on Friday.Photo: K. Pichumani
A Metro Rail coach being unloaded at the Chennai port on Friday.Photo: K. Pichumani

After sailing for 32 days, the maiden train set of Chennai Metro Rail Ltd (CMRL) arrived at Chennai Port Trust (ChPT) on Friday morning from Port of Santos, Brazil.

Described as ‘Brazilian Beauty’, the set comprising four cars (two driver motor cars and two trailing cars) arrived on Antigua-Barbuda flagged vessel Vera. The vessel was berthed at ChPT at 11 a.m. The unloading of the first coach began at 4.30 p.m. and the last one by 7.30 p.m.

Though only a handful of visitors were present at the time of unloading, they were unable to see the ‘beauty’ in its original avatar as it was wrapped in plastic. Each coach (car) costs nearly Rs.12 crore and comes in silver and deep blue colour.

“Here comes the beauty to relieve us from the traffic congestion. However, we have to wait for some more days to see it in action,” said a shipping agent, who was present at the venue.

Amidst global tender, NTC Logistics has bagged a three-year contract for shipping the nine train sets from Alstom unit in Lapa, Sao Paulo, to placing them on tracks at CMRL depot in Koyambedu, Chennai. The next sets will arrive in batches of two from July onwards and the last batch will arrive by December.

Briefing reporters, an NTC official said the coaches are mounted on a specially built hydraulic axle modular trailer to avoid jolting. It would be moved to CMRL depot for unveiling and placing on the tracks for testing. “As it is a weekend, we expect to get Customs clearance for this consignment on Monday. After paying Port dues, we will move it to the depot next week,” he said.

“Recently, we shipped rails for Hyderabad Metro from Port of Antwerp to Hyderabad via Mumbai Port. By shipping the train sets, we have proved our competency and it was appreciated by Alstom engineers,” the official said.

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