Eastern Railway GM meets RVNL to discuss Kolkata Metro Phase I plans

Both the Joka-Taratala section and the New Garia-Ruby segment, which are nearing completion, might be commissioned this year with the one-train-only system, which would eliminate the need for signals, according to RVNL.

0
329
Kolkata Metro
Image for representational purpose only
Advertisement

Kolkata (Metro Rail News): On Thursday, Eastern Railway general manager Arun Arora met with RVNL officials to assess the twin Kolkata Metro corridors — Joka-Esplanade and New Garia-Airport — that are now under construction.

It comes after the meeting between railway minister Ashwini Vaishnaw and general managers of railway zones last week, during which Vaishnaw sought Arora’s opinion on whether to stick to the original plan when launching the first phase of both corridors — Joka to Taratala in the west and New Garia to Ruby along the EM Bypass — or extend the run further — from Joka to Majerhat and New Garia to Sector V.

While Metro Railway, the umbrella organisation for the city’s rapid transit system, has requested an extended Phase I for both corridors, RVNL, which is entrusted with implementing most of the city’s Metro projects, is keen to stick to the original launching plans of the truncated segments.

Both the Joka-Taratala section and the New Garia-Ruby segment, which are nearing completion, might be commissioned this year with the one-train-only system, which would eliminate the need for signals, according to RVNL.

From the Joka terminal to Taratala, only one rake will roll up and down the lines. Similarly, only one train will depart from New Garia’s Kavi Subhas terminal and go to Ruby before returning. So there won’t be any other trains on the tracks.

RVNL wants to start the sections without signals because it has only managed to float tenders for communication-based train control (CBTC) signalling for the two projects in January. So it won’t be possible to run multiple trains anytime soon.

CBTC will be available on all future Metro lines in the city, such as the East-West Metro. The CBTC signalling system is based on telecommunication, with trains travelling at 80 km on automatic signals that occur every two and a half minutes.

The CBTC system is complicated to implement, and any new Metro line would require long trial runs before the Commissioner of Railway Safety (CRS) would approve it. According to feasibility studies, a truncated Line 6 will connect Kavi Subhas to the Airport and cover the EM Bypass and New Town. It will only have significant ridership if it interlocks with the East-West Metro’s Sector V station.

Line 3, which will connect Joka in the city’s outskirts with Esplanade through Diamond Harbour Road, should also connect to Eastern Railway’s Majerhat station for meaningful ridership.

According to a Metro official, “Running single trains would have been okay had there been possibilities of getting enough passengers. But very few people would have used these sections, and the commissioning of these stretches would be a huge strain on Metro, which is already grappling with losses. We don’t want to land in a situation like the East-West Metro, which still doesn’t have enough footfall, even after the Phoolbagan extension.”

Daily Updates from Metro & Railway

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.