KOLKATA (Metro Rail News): East-West Metro’s Sealdah link is going to get commissioned today, whereas the commercial run will start on Thursday. Commuters can travel 9 km from Sector V to Sealdah in just 21 minutes and the ride will cost Rs 20. Trains will run at 10-minute intervals between Sector 5 and Sealdah stations.
A dais has been set up on the concourse of the non-functional Howrah Maidan station, which will become one of East-West Metro’s terminal stations (the other being Sector V), once the entire 16km corridor is linked, via river Hooghly in the next year.
Kolkata Metro‘s Line 2, which started in phases in March 2020, presently covers a distance of 6.6 km from Sector V to Phoolbagan with six stations. After the edition of the seventh station and 2.3km stretch, Metro Railway expects 45,000 to 50,000 daily footfall along East-West Metro. The Sector 5-Phoolbagan stretch has around 3,000 daily ridership currently.
Two BEML rakes have been readied for today’s inaugural run. East-West Metro boasts of these hi-tech trains designed to stop automatically at a station and their doors synced with the platform screen doors.
East-West Metro has been equipped to operate on the automatic train control and signalling system. Even as it now runs in the conventional way – the responsibility being on drivers to stop trains at stations in a way that two sets of doors are perfectly aligned – the driver’s role will become minimal once the entire East-West Metro is ready.
The Bowbazaar incident deferred the Sealdah station commissioning, which had received the Commissioner of Railway Safety (CRS) approval on March 24. The safety approval’s validity expired on June 23 and CRS had to extend it by another three months.