Chennai Metro Phase II: Arrival of Driverless Trains Expected in August

CMRL Is set to Introduce Driverless Trains with Unique Features

Chennai Metro/ Representational image
Chennai Metro/ Representational image
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CHENNAI (Metro Rail News): Chennai Metro Rail Corporation Limited (CMRL) is expected to receive its first delivery of a three-car driverless trainset in August. The trainset will operate on Corridor-4 of the Chennai Metro Phase II, connecting the eastern and western parts of the city from Lighthouse to Poonamallee Bypass.

CMRL’s initial plan includes opening the elevated stretch from Kodambakkam Suburban to Poonamallee Bypass on Corridor-4 by 2025. Trains will be parked and maintained at Poonamallee depot, which is under construction and expected to be completed by next year.

A senior official from CMRL disclosed that one trainset is scheduled to arrive in August, followed by six additional trainsets in the subsequent two months. However, the laying of ballastless tracks on the elevated line within the corridor must be completed before the first train’s arrival. The laying of ballastless tracks is targeted for July.

Driverless Trains Unique Features 

In February, CMRL unveiled the first look of its driverless trains, showcasing unique features such as standing perch seats, CCTV surveillance both inside and outside the compartments, charging points for electronic devices, differently coloured grab handles at accessible heights for female passengers, designated areas, and extended waiting buttons for wheelchair users, as well as LCD screens displaying real-time route maps and entertainment content.

Representational image of upcoming driverless trains for the Chennai Metro Phase 2 project.

Each of these three-car trains can accommodate approximately 1,000 commuters, with a design speed of 90km/hr and an operational speed of 80km/hr. Equipped with obstacle detection sensors, anti-derailment mechanisms, and regenerative braking systems to conserve electricity, CMRL requires 138 three-car trainsets to provide hassle-free service for the upcoming 116.1km phase-2, expected to open in separate phases from 2025 to 2028.

Chennai Metro Rail Project Phase II – Corridor 4

Corridor 4 of the Chennai Metro Rail Project Phase II extends from Lighthouse in the east to Poonamallee Bypass in the west, covering a distance of 26.8 km. This stretch comprises 16.5 km of elevated tracks and 10.3 km underground, featuring 18 elevated stations and 12 underground stations. Operations on this route are expected to be started by the end of 2027.

Chennai Metro’s Route Map.

Funding for the project is provided jointly by the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), Asian Development Bank (ADB), and New Development Bank (NDB).

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