Chennai

Hitachi emerges as the lowest bidder for Metro Rail's Phase II signalling contract


In Phase II, Chennai Metro Rail Ltd. hopes to operate driverless trains for which signalling becomes crucial.

In Phase II, Chennai Metro Rail Ltd. hopes to operate driverless trains for which signalling becomes crucial. | Photo Credit: M. VEDHAN

Hitachi Rail Signalling and Transportation Systems India Pvt. Ltd. has emerged as the lowest bidder for designing and developing the signalling software, one of the biggest contracts of Chennai Metro Rail Ltd.’s Phase II project.

According to officials of Chennai Metro Rail Ltd. (CMRL), a few days ago, they opened the financial bids and Hitachi was the lowest bidder. Nippon Signal was the only other firm which had participated in the bid. Sources said Hitachi had quoted about ₹1,600 crore for the project. “There are some procedures and evaluations to be done before formally awarding the contract. Most importantly, there is a project management committee which has to approve it only after which the contract can be issued,” an official said.

Officials said since the first stretch between Poonamallee and Power House may be opened by the end of 2025 or early 2026, the contractor should deliver the software months in advance so that trials can start.

In Phase II, Chennai Metro Rail Ltd. hopes to operate driverless trains and for that, a well-functioning signalling system becomes extremely important as it controls significant aspects from train operations to announcements in stations and trains and many other functions, the officials said.

The signalling system in Phase II project will be quite different from the one used in Phase I.

While in the Phase I project, CMRL had installed distance-to-go signalling system, in Phase II it will deploy communications-based train control signalling system, which, officials say, was a better and a more precise system.

Owing to this, the trains which operate in the Phase I project will not run in Phase II. Wherever there are interchange stations, like Alandur, Thirumangalam, CMBT or KMC, commuters will have to get off, walk some distance and board the train.


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Printable version | Aug 12, 2022 8:40:09 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/hitachi-emerges-as-the-lowest-bidder-for-metro-rails-phase-ii-signalling-contract/article65762339.ece