Exploring Agra Metro’s Journey From Thought to Reality through the Eyes of — Anil Kumar Saini

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Metro Rail News Conducted an email interview with Mr Anil Kumar Saini, Managing Director of Rolling Stock & Components (RSC) at Alstom India to explore the intricacies of Agra Metro along with featuring it in the Project of the Month, giving our readers a deeper dive into it.

In the interview, Mr Anil Kumar Saini highlights Alstom’s momentous role in the Agra Metro Project, which includes the delivery of metro cars and advanced signaling solutions. He discusses challenges faced during the project, such as COVID-19 disruptions. He sheds light on Alstom’s unwavering commitment to safety and reliability through innovative technologies like Cityflo 650 CBTC. With a proven track record of successful deliveries and a robust presence in India, Alstom aims to advance accessible, sustainable mobility while prioritizing carbon neutrality.

Agra Metro
Exploring Agra Metro's Journey From Thought to Reality through the Eyes of — Anil Kumar Saini 2

1. Can you please give our readers an overview of Alstom’s involvement in the Agra Metro Project?

Alstom’s scope for the Agra-Kanpur metro project includes designing and delivering 201 metro cars (67 metro trainsets) and equipping Agra’s 2 Corridors (27 stations, 30 Km) with an advanced Communications-Based Train Control (CBTC) signalling solution (Cityflo 650). The trains have been designed at Alstom’s engineering centre in Hyderabad with signalling solution developed at Gurgaon and are being manufactured at our world-class manufacturing facility in Savli (Gujarat) under the ‘Make in India’ and ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ initiatives. Over two million residents of the city are expected to benefit directly and indirectly from the Agra Metro Rail Project.

Alstom’s long-standing partnership with UPMRC has been instrumental in shaping the metro landscape across the state, with our involvement in nearly all major metro projects.

2. What were some of the unique challenges encountered during the implementation of the Agra Metro Project, and how did Alstom address them?

One of the key challenges that we faced was the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The supply chain was impacted, which made it difficult to source the materials required for production. Our team ensured consistent engagement with the suppliers and provided protocol-compliant support to assist in keeping the supply chain lines running. This helped us in delivering the first metro trains for Kanpur Metro in record time. As most of the prototype testing of the train was done in Kanpur (as the Kanpur and Agra trains are the same), we were able to ensure speedy delivery for the Agra metro project as well.

3. Can you shed light on innovative features or technologies incorporated into the metro trains supplied for the Agra Metro Project? How does Alstom ensure the safety and reliability of the rolling stock that it supplies?

Agra Metro is equipped with Alstom’s advanced moving block Communications-Based Train Control (CBTC) solution, Cityflo 650, to ensure safe, reliable, and sustainable mobility for commuters. This includes an ATP setup with continuous data supervision and updates via radio transmissions. The vehicles and infrastructure are supervised using a modern computer-based control and supervision system. It ensures maximum availability and safety by using redundant interlocking computers. Alstom’s advanced signalling system provides a high level of passenger comfort smooth braking and acceleration.

4. How does Alstom deal with any potential technical issues or breakdowns that may arise with the metro trains post-delivery, and what measures are in place to minimize such disruptions in service?

While the maintenance is done by the UPMRC team, Alstom has deployed a technical support team at the depot to address any breakdowns as a part of the defect liability obligations. This will help in minimising the downtime. However, the reliability of our system has been very good, which has resulted in zero disruptions so far.

5. Can you share any insights into the future of metro rail projects in India and Alstom’s role in supporting them? What are Alstom’s future plans for contributing to the development of metro rail infrastructure in India beyond the Agra Metro Project?

India’s growing population would increase the demand for public transport by several folds to keep up with the transportation needs of the people. The Government’s continuous commitment to enhancing urban mobility and reducing traffic congestion has led to the expansion of metro networks across multiple cities. The progress of metro rail projects in India has been quite promising and we are likely to witness an expansion of urban metro networks in Tier II and Tier III cities. Our commitment is to make sustainable mobility at scale real in India, and there is no better way than making rail more accessible to people and businesses alike. 

As more cities are looking to decongest their roads with metro solutions, our expertise will help citizens adopt safe and sustainable mass mobility solutions. We remain committed to supporting our partners in ongoing projects while actively seeking opportunities for collaboration and innovation in India’s evolving transportation sector.

Alstom India has a history of successfully delivering world-class metro trains for major cities, including Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bhopal-Indore, Pune, Lucknow, and Kochi in India and internationally for Sydney, Queensland, and Montreal. With our extensive footprint in India – 6 manufacturing facilities, 5 engineering centres across the country, and over 12000 employees across sites, we remain committed to supporting India’s transition to more innovative, sustainable, and accessible mobility systems.

6. How does Alstom prioritise sustainability and environmental considerations in its metro rail projects?

Alstom is committed to supporting carbon neutrality in transport by building innovative, sustainable mobility solutions with a lower carbon footprint while actively contributing to the public debates on sustainable development policies. 

Alstom has developed its eco-design approach that incorporates environmental considerations during the design phase of its products, services, and buildings, with the primary goal of limiting the lifetime environmental impact. This approach involves analysing the product lifecycle from design to recycling to predict its effects on the environment at each stage. Today, Alstom’s solutions are designed to integrate environmental targets (energy, use of renewable resources, noise, emission levels etc.), and achievements are monitored throughout the development process.

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