India’s First Underwater Metro Run Put on Hold

KOLKATA: After two rakes were successfully delivered from East-West Metro’s Sealdah station on Sunday with the help of a battery-driven locomotive, India’s first underwater Metro run was postponed at the last minute.

According to Metro Railway officials, the two rakes will soon go from Esplanade (Kolkata side) to Howrah Maidan below the Hooghly river. Then, train testing will be done to ensure that the shortened Esplanade-Howrah Maidan portion is safe to operate. As those following the East-West Metro project, which will eventually cover 16km from Sector V to Howrah Maidan below the river, a higher-up issued instructions that the rakes would travel the next 4.8km from Esplanade to the terminal Howrah Maidan station in the coming days rather than on Sunday.

Third Line to Electrically Power the Metro Rake to Be Ready This Week

When the rakes cross the river in the coming days, they will go via Howrah Station, the country’s deepest Metro station, which is 33 metres below ground.

Over the previous seven days, the two rakes had been tested within East-West Metro’s Salt Lake depot. The rakes were being propelled by a battery-powered locomotive. Because there is no third line to electrically power train trips between Sealdah, Bowbazar, and Esplanade, the battery-operated hybrid locomotive purchased from South Korea’s Kum Chum System Co Ltd came in helpful.

The hybrid locomotive, so named because it can also operate on third rail power, hauled the six-coach BEML-made rakes one by one down the eastbound tunnel from Sealdah to Esplanade. Around 8.20 a.m., the first rake left the Salt Lake depot. The second one arrived around 8.30 a.m. The locomotive, which can haul a train at a steep grade of 4% at a top speed of 25 kmph and is often utilised for accident relief or pushing a disabled train off the lines, was able to push the first rake to Esplanade station about 12.30pm and the second at 3.50pm. The rakes travelled normally on Sunday until they reached Sealdah. They were battery-powered from Sealdah to Esplanade.

The Rakes from Esplanade to Howrah Maidan Would Resume Normal Service

According to sources, the rakes from Esplanade to Howrah Maidan would resume normal service with power pulled from the third rail sometime this week. On Sunday, one rake was positioned at Esplanade station, and the other was stationed near the eastbound tunnel near Esplanade station. Officials breathed a sigh of relief since transferring the rakes to Esplanade is a critical step in starting train trials on the Howrah Maidan-Esplanade line.

News Credit: TOI

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