Govind D. Belgaumkar

It will run 39 trains each with three coaches

The first train is scheduled to run in March 2010

BANGALORE: Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation (BMRC) is getting ready to identify companies that build and deliver 117 air-conditioned, disabled-friendly coaches at a cost of more than Rs. 760 crore to begin with.

The plan is to run 39 trains each with three coaches of modern design, light weight and made of stainless steel/aluminium. The number of coaches can go up to six if required.

BMRC plans to acquire the coaches in phases. The Byappanahalli terminal will have the facility to park and maintain 170 coaches while the proposed Jalahalli terminal, behind the Aiyyappa Temple near Jalahalli Circle, will have the facility to park and maintain 110 coaches.

The first train is scheduled to run between Byappanahalli and Chinnaswamy Stadium in March 2010. To begin with, BMRC wants to run trains at a frequency of four minutes and increase it to three minutes as and when demand increases.

BMRC Managing Director V. Madhu said seven entities, including five consortia, had responded to the global tender. They are Fireman Transport SPA, Caserta, Italy; CAF, S.A. Madrid, Spain; Norico, China-led consortium with Changchun Rail Co., China and Jessop and Co. Ltd., Kolkata, as members; Siemens AG Earlangen, Germany-led consortium with Siemens Ltd., New Delhi, as member; Bombardier Transportation, Berlin, Germany-led consortium with Bombardier Transportation, India Ltd., New Delhi, as member; BEML, Bangalore-led consortium with ROTEM, Korea, Mitsubishi Corporation, Japan, and Mitsubishi Electric Corporation, Japan, as members.

‘No smoking’ coaches

Mr. Madhu said that smoking would be a strict no-no both on platforms and in the Metro coaches. The coaches will be vestibuled and they will have public address system and electronic displays showing the name of station approaching or the station where the train has made a halt.

He promised that the coaches would be absolutely safe for women. “You will reach the next station in just about a minute or two,” he told The Hindu. There would be no reserved coaches for women.

“You will not see people hanging from the metro coaches as you do in the Mumbai suburban trains. The trains will not move unless the doors are closed,” he said. BMRC would allow people with bags even though a law under preparation does empower us to restrict baggage. But vendors would not be allowed to use the Metro to transport vegetables, fish, etc.

There would be no toilets and washbasins in the coaches. The coaches will be disabled-friendly with their floor level being on par with the platform. Wheelchairs could move into them easily, Mr. Madhu said.