Residents of South India’s biggest city are enjoying their new metro line, with 326,000 passengers recorded in its first week of operations.
Phase one of the Chennai Metro comprises two lines totalling 54.1km in length, with construction starting in June 2009. Last Monday, June 29, the first 10km section of the Metro was opened to customers.
According to local source The Hindu, the line has been quickly welcomed by residents. 80,000 passengers were recorded on Sunday, July 5, the busiest of the line’s first seven days of operation.
Over the full weekend, 156,000 people travelled on the line, leading some to suggest numbers are being inflated at this stage by curious locals keen to try out the new service. Indeed, with the weekend figure almost matching the 170,000 passengers recorded across the five working days prior, it will likely take some time for a reliable figure to present itself.
Around 10 million Indian Rupee (AUD$212,000) in ticket sales were recorded in the first week.
French multinational Alstom is in charge of delivering 42 of its four-car Metrapolis trainsets for the project, as well as the design of trackworks, as part of a €243 million contract, and says it’s already delivered 25 of 42 trains to the Indian project.
In 2012, the manufacturer set up a plant in Sri-City, 55km north of Chennai, where it is manufacturing the trains for the contract. The first nine trains were produced by Alstom’s factory in Lapa, Brazil.
“The 4-car Metropolis train can carry over 1200 passengers comfortably as it is equipped with air-conditioning, a passenger information system with LED displays (including dynamic route maps in Tamil and English), CCTVs, luggage racks and special sections for ladies and people with reduced mobility,” Alstom said.
“The metro offers easy and fluid access thanks to its automatic sliding wide doors and wide gangways. The stainless steel trainset is equipped with a regenerative braking system ensuring significant energy savings.”
Trains are powered with 25 kV AC, through an overhead catenary system. Maximum speed is roughly 80 km/h, but average speed during operation is around 30km/h, according to The Hindu.
The opened section of the metro is the first 10km of what is known as the Green Line. When the Green Line is complete, it will be a 22km link (9.7km underground) between Chennai Central and St Thomas Mount, which will include 9 underground and 8 elevated stations.
Phase one of the project also includes the Blue Line, which is designed as a 32.1km (16.6km underground) line between Wimco Nagar and Chennai International Airport. It will include 13 underground, and 12 elevated stations.