Chennai: The Chennai metro operates across the city’s vein for last three years. Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL) is yet to run the metro trains services on automatic mode.
Metro train run on two modes – the automatic train operation (ATO) and the automatic train protection (ATP). When a train is operated via ATO, all that is operator is required is to close the door. All the operations of the train are automatic and managed from a centralized operations control centre.
On the other hand when trains are run on ATP mode, all operation is manual. During the emergency the system takes over. Those operating the train use the master console and control the brakes and traction systems in non-peak hours. The personnel at the operation control center are only monitoring the operation.
CMRL is using manual mode in order to train the operators, as per the official.
A metro official said that they use ATP mode in the non-peak hours. The manual mode is used to equip train operators to use master controller (the console of the train) in case there is an emergency.
The official added that they use automatic mode during peak hours in order to maintain frequency of trains entered into the operating system. Currently, CMRL has 88 train operators trained and certified by them.
The employment of manual mode is leading to several technical glitches. These include non-syncing of platform screen doors (PSD) of the train door in the underground Chennai metro station. The metro train either stop before time or behind the station – not syncing with the time and stoppage/destination. The operators have to sync the doors by moving the train backward or forward.
CMRL officials however, assert that the non-syncing of door has nothing to do with door operator’s skill. It depends on the signalling system.
The Chennai Metro official shared, that the if the train operator applies more brake or traction then necessary during the ATP mode, the train system will take care. This is so because it comes in protection more with negligible chance of error.
For phase 2 project CMRL is aiming to operate driverless trains for the 107.55km stretch.