NOIDA (Metro Rail News): Considering the increasing cost of construction, Noida Metro has decided that all future development of the metro rail network in the city will be metrolite. This is because metrolite a light urban rail transit system with smaller coaches is nearly 50% cheaper as compared to the normal metro network, officials said.
According to Noida Metro officials, the metrolite will be more useful as the demand will be optimized by increasing its frequency during peak hours and reducing it during non-peak hours.
Moreover, its tracks are narrower than the standard gauge used in most of the existing normal metro lines and there is no overhead extension for wiring, making it safer. And metrolite can be built on the surface as well as elevated track.
“The Centre had proposed that we go for a metrolite system as it’s less cost-intensive. A metrolite system is economically more viable as the overall cost of the entire system is almost half of the normal metro network,” PD Upadhyaya, executive director of NMRC.
Currently, the cost of constructing the metro is around Rs 200 crore per km, while the metrolite system is expected to cost around Rs 60-100 crore, depending upon the infrastructure requirement.
Though the carrying capacity of a metrolite coach is anywhere between 70 and 300 which is much less as compared to the current metro coach that can carry 1,034 people at a time, Upadhyay said, “it can be managed by increasing frequency during peak hours and reducing headway during non-peak hours”.
“It would be better for us often we need to operate a metro even if it’s going empty. In such cases, the cost of operating the metrolite will be much less than operating a normal metro,” he said. According to Upadhyay, the metro network may also be at grade at some places in Noida as the metrolite can be made at the ground level as well be elevated. The metro system has been either elevated or underground so far.
“Noida has wide road space where we can use the green belt and wayside for the metrolite track, unlike smaller cities with narrow roads. We just need to create a crossing like a small bridge or an underpass near intersections to avoid mixing with usual traffic.
The surface system will be very convenient for people as it will be easily accessible. There will be no need for an extensive platform and security checks,” the NMRC executive director said.
The metrolite network will need entirely separate infrastructure, including a separate track network, rolling stock (coaches), electrical and civil work, and separate platforms. The problem, however, is that an interchange station will have to be made to connect the existing metro lines with the new metrolite lines.
The NMRC has also suggested that the proposed metro lines from Pari Chowk to Jewar also be converted to a metrolite system, which will also mean another interchange requirement at Pari Chowk station.