21 April 2018

Cover Story

Metro Surge

 

Metro Rail in India is on a roll, quite literally. Starting with just 8 kms in 2002, we now have 425 km of metro lines operational across 10 cities, with the network expected to cross 700 km in the next few years. With vast sections of city streets dug up, new metro lines opening up every few months, land acquisition controversies, talks of vertical gardens and solar-powered stations, the metro rail movement has recast the city’s infrastructure and lifestyle, reports Shailaja Sharma.

 

I took a metro ride in Mumbai from Ghatkopar to Versova at peak hour traffic all under 20 minutes. A ride that would have normally taken not less than 1.5 hours. Imagine the saving in time and what it means for people struggling with 12 hour work days, pollution and traffic congestion.

Nitesh Gangaramani, Director, Al Fara'a Group explains, “Experience has shown that, in tier II cities where roads do not have adequate width and which cater to mixed traffic conditions comprising slow and fast moving vehicles, road transport can optimally carry 8,000 persons per hour per direction (PHPDT). When traffic density increases beyond this level, the average speed of vehicles comes down, journey time increases, air pollution goes up and commuters are put to an increased level of inconvenience. Thus when on a corridor, traffic density during peak hours crosses this figure, provision of rail-based mass transport, i.e. METRO system should be considered.”

 

Metros are not just efficient transportation devices but also a means of fostering social discourse and cohesion. Whether it’s the recent incident of Mumbai citizens coming together to protest tree felling in Aarey for building the Metro 3 car shed or Bengaluru citizen groups and corporates participating in mural painting to beautify metro stations, the metro experiment is a good example of how citizens now feel an empowered sense of purpose, community, and pride in shaping their city.

 

According to Brijesh Dixit, MD, Maha Metro, “Currently there are 53 cities with 1 Million plus population which have started planning for the construction of Metro Rail projects and out of these there are 20 cities with 2 Million plus population in which 13 are currently executing metro rails projects and the remaining are yet to start.”

 

While the amount of Rs.15,000 Crore allotted in 2018 Union Budget 2018 is the lowest in the last three years, the nature and scale of the activity has significantly ratcheted up.

 

With the new Metro Rail Policy, 2017, the role of the private sector is now mandatory. Many metro projects like Kochi, Pune & Vijayawada are exploring the PPP model with the participation of banks and financial institutions. But the success of the PPP model remains debatable. Dr. E. Sreedharan, Principal Adviser, DMRC, a.k.a. METRO MAN OF INDIA for one does not support this model. “PPP has never succeeded anywhere in the world – let alone in India. And this insistence often delays the sanctioning of Metro projects.” Quite simply put, Metro is a very capital-intensive segment including land acquisition cost to civil works, to signalling, and rolling stock costs. It might not be a viable proposition for private companies, given the low traffic volumes and slow revenue generation in tier 2 cities. Private players generally expect a 12-15 per cent return compared to the average investment return of over 2-3 per cent for Metro. For example, Reliance Infrastructure took 7 years to complete 11 km of the Mumbai Metro Line 1 and now claim to be losing Rs.50 lakh per day in revenue every day despite their very high fares.

 

As per Amit Bhatt, Director, World Resources Institute, India, a company offering solutions for urban settlement, the fault lies in limiting the definition of PPP. “Various types of PPP can be implemented.” He gives the example of the difference between Delhi’s airport line, which was built by DMRC and Delhi Airport Metro Express Private Limited (DAMEPL) constructed under PPP model and Gurugram’s Rapid Metro, which was nation’s first privately owned metro project (undertaken by a consortium of DLF Metro & IL&FS).

 

While the former was stalled when DAMEPL pulled out of the project quoting slow revenue recovery, the latter has been running “fairly well”.

 

“We need to do more to speed up a Metro revolution in the country. China is building Metros at the rate of 300 kms every year, whereas India’s performance is only 25 kms of which 18 kms is contributed by DMRC. For the size of this country and the number of cities to be covered, we have to build Metros at the rate of at least 200 kms per year for the next 15 years.”, says Dr. E. Sreedharan, Principal Adviser, DMRC.

 

He recommends setting up an expert committee, which will identify the country’s needs and draw up a roadmap for the next 15 years. He says, “A reliable and doable Metro policy, with GoI taking the lead, identifying funding routes, a common agency for laying technical and safety standards for all Metros – (now Indian Railways have this role with no domain knowledge) – suggesting fast routes for Land acquisition are urgently needed.”

 

While lauding the governments efforts in improving the country’s ease of doing business ranking, S V Desai, Executive Vice President & Head – Heavy Civil Infrastructure IC, L&T Construction wants the approval process to move faster. “All construction projects require umpteen number of statutory approvals and clearances by various authorities hence the introduction of a single window for clearing all these approvals will definitely pave the way for better planning and faster execution. There is also the need to size projects properly (high contract value and scope) which will enable better optimization of resources and be minimizing the cost of construction.” says Desai.

 

With such a slew of metro projects and controversies, we deemed it fit to take another look at what’s new on the metro scene.

 

 

NEW LINES OPENING

Ahmedabad - The total length of the Ahmedabad Metro Phase One will be 39.26 km, of which 6 km will be underground and the remainder will be elevated.

The construction for the 6.33 km underground tunnel for the 39.25 km metro underground section of the Ahmedabad Metro Rail began last month.

The work has been slowed because the tunnel that is 20 meters below ground is located in the walled part of Ahmedabad, which has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. To avoid damage to heritage structures, the underground train will have to take a zigzag route.  The Phase two is a 34.6 km stretch that will start at Motera and end at Mahatma Mandir with 24 stations.

Hyundai Rotem has won the contract for the design, manufacture, supply, installation, testing, and commissioning of 96 standard gauge cars and personnel training. While Nippon Signal has secured the contract for signalling and train control systems.

 

 

BENGALURU

Namma Metro , also known as Bengaluru Metro is currently the second longest operational metro network in India after the Delhi Metro. The Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) recently notified tenders to build the KR Puram-Silk Board (Outer Ring Road) line, post the approval of funding by the state cabinet for the 17-km fully elevated Metro line.

While the bids have been received for the underground package-2, the value of the bid being 65 per cent to 75 per cent higher than the estimate of Rs.5,047 crore of BMRC has now put a spanner in the works. Larsen & Toubro, Gulermak, Afcons Infrastructure and Italian-Thai Development were the bidders for the project. BMRC is yet to decide on the next course of action. BMRCL managing director Mahendra Jain confirmed to ET that the tenders invited for civil works stand canceled. “We have written to the European Investment Bank (EIB), which is a lead financier for the underground project, asking them to allow us to re-tender,” he said.

Another landmark Metro project eagerly awaited is a High-speed Airport Express from the City centre to the Airport in Bangalore (38 kms long) which can cover the distances in 25 to 30 minutes.

 

 

CHENNAI

On the Chennai front, the latest sections opening up include the elevated corridor of the Phase – I of Chennai Metro Rail (i.e.Corridor-2 – Koyambedu to St. Thomas Mount) and the underground section from Thirumangalam to Nehru Park.

Pankaj Kumar Bansal, Managing Director, Chennai Metro Rail Ltd says, “About 55 per cent of the corridors in Phase –I are underground and the remaining portion is elevated. The entire tunnel portion has been completed. Underground stations along with system works are in progress. The remaining underground sections will be operationalized in three stages by the end of December 2018. The entire project will be completed by March 2020. While the Phase II expansion proposal for the length of 107.55 KM consists of 26.59Km of elevated and 80.96 Km of the Underground section is under the process of approval from Government of India.”Chennai Metro Rail Ltd is now planning the Phase II expansion for the length of 107.55 KM, pending approval from Government of India.

 

 

DELHI METRO

Last month, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) launched 21.56 km stretch of Pink Line between Majlis Park-Durgabai Deshmukh South Campus on Wednesday. The Pink Line, a 59-km line part of Delhi Metro’s Phase III project is the longest metro line till date and whole corridor will open to the public by June 2018. The trains will be driverless, and have multi-coloured seats, a special demarcated zone for wheelchairs, USB and three-pin recharge ports and three-handle poles for those who commute standing. With the opening of the Pink Line's Majlis Park-Durgabai Deshmukh South Campus corridor of the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) last week, the current operational length stands at over 252 km.

While on the Magenta line, of the 34.2-km Janakpuri West-Botanical Garden corridor, a 12.64-km Botanical Garden-Kalkaji Mandir section is also now operational.

Additionally this month Delhi Metro is now likely to enter Haryana after Faridabad and after Gurugram. The 12-km corridor linking Bahadurgarh with the Delhi Metro network is now complete and awaiting a go-ahead from the Commissioner of Metro Rail Safety (CMRS) to open the section to the public. The corridor will be the biggest straight-line stretch in the history of Delhi Metro without any turn and twist from Mundka to Bahadurgarh.

The total operational span of the Delhi Metro network will expand to over 350 km after completion of its Phase-III project in December 2018. The total existing network of Phase-I and Phase-II is 190.03 km (including the National Capital Region).

Further, the government is now planning to go forward with Delhi Metro s phase IV project and rapid rail system connecting the national capital with Meerut,

 

 

HYDERABAD

In the latest development, the Telangana government has set up a special purpose vehicle (SPV) to extend the Hyderabad metro rail's services to the international airport at Shamshabad. The HMRL launched the Phase-I of the project last November by opening a 30-km stretch connecting Miyapur-Ameerpet (13 km) of Corridor-I with Ameerpet-Nagole (17 km) of Corridor-III. So far, about 85 percent of the project has been completed in the remaining phases of Phase-I. The route to Shamshabad airport will have townships equipped with both residential and commercial establishments which will be constructed by HAML.

 

 

LUCKNOW METRO:

Lucknow Metro is the fastest ever Metro project implemented in the Country. Commenting on the latest developments,  Kumar Keshav, MD, Lucknow Metro Rail Corporation says, “The 8.5 km of the ‘Priority Stretch’ has been completed and made operational for the public in less than three years which is a record in itself. No other Metro Project has even been able to achieve this feat in the past.” As the Lucknow Metro Rail Corporation (LMRC) approaches its March 2019 completion date, it is expecting to obtain around Rs.2,000 Crore in this fiscal year to pay for the on-going civil construction of the first phase of the 23km Metro corridor.

 

 

MUMBAI

Last month, The Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Development Authority (MMRDA) gave contracts for works of over Rs.25,000 Crore on upcoming metro lines of (Rs.10,986 Mumbai Metro 2B corridor that will connect DN Nagar in the north-west suburb of Andheri with Mandale in the north-east, and Rs.14,549 crore for the north-south Metro-4 corridor which will run between Kasarwadavali in Thane and Wadala) Mumbai Metro Rail Project. A JV of Tata Project and China Harbour Engineering got the Rs.5,320-crore ‘package 9’ for seven stations on the same line and the JV of Reliance Infrastructure and ASTALDI won the Rs.540 crore ‘package-8’ on the Metro-4 corridor. MMRDA also issued a tender notice for construction of Ballastless Track work in the main line for Line-7 corridor between Andheri east to Dahisar. The estimated cost of the entire project is Rs.6,208 crore. Financial bids for the Metro-4 packages were also announced last month. The Metro-4 corridor is a 32.32-km stretch with 32 stations, fully elevated and the MMRDA is also planning an extension to Metro-4 till South Mumbai, which will be partly underground. If the MMRDA’s executive committee gives a go-ahead to bids received, then it is likely to be awarded to Reliance-Astaldi and Tata Projects-China Harbour Engineering Company (TPL-CHEC), both joint ventures.

 

On the other lines, The Colaba-Bandra connection SEEPZ is expected to complete by December 2021 with the first phase of Aarey Milk Colony connecting the airport to be operational in March 2021. “The Colaba-Bandra-SEEPZ underground Metro corridor, 33 kms long with 27 stations is the most difficult Metro line so far undertaken in this country. When completed it will change the travel style and pattern in Mumbai city.” Sreedharan says. The project faces many technical challenges due to very adverse rock conditions, proximity to many heritage buildings and very old residential buildings which are even 100 years old and in precarious conditions.

 

The Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRC) has completed more than 15 percent of the civil construction for 33.5km of the 33-tunnel underground corridor. It is the longest tunnel corridor in the country. The Metro rail project, which is estimated to cost Rs.23,136 crore, includes Phase-1 of the project, from Aarey to Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC) (expected completion by June 2021) and BKC to Cuffe Parade (by December 2021).

 

MMRC recently signed the first system contract agreement for electrical works of 25 Kilo vatt (kV) traction for Colaba-Bandra-Seepz Metro 3 project. A ‘Consortium of Alstom Transport India Limited and  Alstom Transport S.A’ was also signed with the agreement.

 

This package mainly covers design, installation and commissioning of ‘Rigid Overhead Contact System and Auxiliary substations’. The contract agreement was signed by A.A.Bhatt, Director (Systems) on the behalf of MMRC and by Sriram Raju and Bruno Izambart on behalf of Alstom Consortium.

 

The MMRC had issued a ‘Letter of Award’ for this work earlier in  February 2018. The work consists of laying overhead rigid conductor system in underground tunnel alignment of 33.5 km route length, laying of 33kV & 25kV cable, auxiliary substation at 27 stations and other associated works. Ashwini Bhide, MD, MMRC, said, “The 25kV Traction works is a critical component of Metro 3 implementation. We aim to implement robust and technologically advanced traction system for the metro corridor and complete the works in time.”

 

 

One of the companies looking forward to serve Mumbai metro line 3, 7, 2 is Sika India Pvt. Ltd. The company offers a wide range of solutions for Metro Rail projects at all levels including products for Underground tunnel – Excavation by Drill & Blast method/Cut and cover method, Excavation by TBM (Tunnel Boring Machines) & Elevated corridor.

 

 

NOIDA

While in Noida, Noida Metro Rail Corporation (NMRC) got two more trains from Chinese company CRRC Corporation Ltd. In December last year, the first aqua line train of four coaches had been received. According to NMRC Spokesperson, they are to get a total 19 trains for the 30km Noida-Greater Noida Metro Link, which were to be ready for a trial run in April. But now the much-awaited Noida Metro Aqua line (29.7 km route), which will connect Noida and Greater Noida, might miss the scheduled launch date of April 2018. While the Aqua line metro set a record for the construction of the highest number of girders on a single line in a time period of one month, the delay in the opening is due to the delay in receiving power supply to the corridor from Uttar Pradesh Power Transmission Corporation Ltd (UPPTCL).

 

 

PUNE & NAGPUR

Last month the Central government approved the long-awaited metro corridor between Shivajinagar and Hinjewadi in Pune on (PPP) basis. The project to be executed by the PMRDA includes a corridor (part of line-3 of Pune Metro Rail Project), covering the 23.3 km stretch between Hinjewadi and Shivajinagar. Work has begun for the first two lines, between Pimpri-Chinchwad and Swargate, and Vanaz to Ramwadi. Al Fara'a Infraprojects is currently executing two packages of Pune Metro (Corridor I & Corridor II) worth Rs.980.00 Crore, Consisting a total of 17 Elevated Metro Stations. Corridor I involves 9 elevated stations (Range Hill, Khadki, Bopodi, Dapodi,Phugewadi, Kasarwadi, Bhosari,Tukaram Nagar & PCMC) and Corridor II Involves 8 elevated stations (Vanaz, Anand Nagar, Ideal Colony, NalStop, Garware College, Deccan, Sambhaji Park & PMC).

Speaking about the project, Nitesh Gangaramani, Director, Al Fara'a Group added, “We have conducted detailed GPS survey to identify and mark different types of live utilities such as Municipal Gas Line, Water Line, Sewers, Electricity & Telephone Lines running below the ground level, the core challenge is to complete the tasks with the help of heavy equipment, within stipulated time that too without damaging any of the utilities.”

The Pune Metro Rail Project is touted to cost around 11420 crores and is expected to receive funding to the tune of 600 million Euros from EIB and 250 Million Euros from AFD France.

While the Nagpur Metro Rail Project is made up of 41.7 Km elevated Metro Corridor, consisting of 42 stations and 2 maintenance Depots. This project is going to receive funding from KfW Germany and AFD France.

 

 

Integrating Sustainability In Transportation

Green initiatives are now the norm rather than an exception to all new metro stations coming up. For example, the increasing use of regenerative braking in metro trains is now a well-accepted tool for saving energy and reducing emissions. Some of the landmark green measures implemented in Indian metros include:

 

 

CHENNAI:  First platinum rated metro rail project

Chennai metro is the first metro project in India which has platinum rating from Indian Green Building Council (IGBC) for designing an environmental friendly metro station, with minimal energy footprint. Besides reducing the cutting of trees to the minimum, CMRL has planted 60,000 saplings in and around Chennai City since 2010 and endangered trees were transplanted by adopting MIYAVAGI (Japanese Technic). CMRL has already installed 1.125 MW of solar capacity on the rooftop at Rolling Stock depot and car parking area. LED Lighting: All elevated and UG stations have been provided with LED lighting for saving energy. Contract for 6MW rooftop and ground mounted awarded to the contractor and work will be started soon.

 

 

KOCHI - Rooftop solar panels

All 23 stations of the phase 1 of the Kochi Metro project have rooftop solar panels, generating 2.3 megawatts (MW), and a 4 MW solar plant. Further, plans are underway to meet as much as half of its electricity demands through solar power. On October 2017, Kochi Metro was named the Best Urban Mobility Project in India by the Urban Development Ministry, as part of the Urban Mobility India (UMI) international conference hosted by the ministry every year. The rooftop project is being implemented through Renewable Energy Service Company (RESCO) model, where the vendor will be investing approx. Rs.27 crores as well as taking care of the operation and maintenance. On its part, KMRL will buy the power from the vendor, M/S Hero Solar Energy (P) Ltd. for a cost of Rs.5.51/- for next 25 years. This is the lowest rate in which any metro projects in India is getting solar power. Recently, KMRL and AMP Solar India Private Ltd have signed the Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) for 2.3MWp Solar Power through a ground-mounted solar plant, raising the total solar power generated by the Kochi Metro Rail Project to 6.3 MWp.

 

 

LUCKNOW

The use of regenerative braking in trains in Lucknow Metro is resulting in saving of 30 to 35 per cent traction energy. Other measures include installation of 1.125 MW of solar capacity, Variable Voltage Variable Frequency (VVVF) drive for all lifts and escalators, provision of LED lights at stations, Wastewater recycling, use of energy efficient equipment for Environmental Control System (ECS) and Tunnel Ventilation System (TVS) system for the underground station etc.

Solar: CMRL has already. The contract for 6MW rooftop and ground-mounted awarded to the contractor and work will be started soon. Commenting on the development, Kumar Keshav, MD, Lucknow Metro Rail Corporation says, “The will save nearly 200,000 tonnes of CO2. Because of all these novel measures, society is expected to recover the entire investment cost of the project in 5 years, its Economic Rate of Return (ERR) of the Project being 19.46 per cent.”

“LMRC has also been certified as a “Green Metro Rail System” by IGBC, becoming 1st government entity in Lucknow region and 1st one in the transport sector in U.P. to attain Indian Green Building Council’s Platinum Certification.”, he added. LMRC also won the ET Now CSR Leadership Award 2018 under the “Smart Transport Initiative”.

 

 

PUNE & NAGPUR

Green initiatives were taken for the Metro Rail project.

The Nagpur and Pune Metro rail projects have been conceptualized and designed to use natural Solar Energy and make use of rainwater harvesting, green building techniques, bio-digester technology, enhancing green belt by tree plantations, water recycling plants in depots and pollution reduction methods. The solar panels have been installed along the station rooftops, depot boundary walls, depot shed rooftops and vacant ground spaces net metered under the RESCO model. Prominent stations are being designed as Multi Storied World Class ‘Green-Buildings’ Stations suitably integrating commercial development, 100 per cent waste water recycling, human waste treatment through anaerobic bacteria-based bio-digesters in collaboration with DRDO, using eco-friendly methods and materials etc.

 

 

NEW SOLUTIONS/ TECHNOLOGY

LUCKNOW- Cantilever span of 255 meters

At Mawaiya Railway Crossing, LMRC has constructed a special balanced cantilever span of 255 meters (central span 105 meters; end spans of 75 meters each). Executed at a height of 21.5 meters above the ground level while passing over 12 railway tracks at a height of 15.2 meters, the cantilever represents one of the rarest feats achieved for any Metro project in the country. While at the Awadh Rotary, Lucknow Metro has launched a 60-meter special steel span bridge crossing the rotary over a statue in the middle of the rotary. This bridge which has been built at a height of approximately 13 meters above the ground connects both the ends of the Metro viaduct to provide a special seamless connectivity for Metro train operation.

CHENNAI METRO- India’s first SIL-3 rated Tunnel Ventilation SCADA System & Ballast less track depot

Chennai Metro also boasts of having India’s first SIL-3 rated Tunnel Ventilation SCADA System & Ballastless track depot. The tunnel ventilation system contains of Trackway exhaust system including fans, dampers and steel duct works, the interface of the SCADA and associated electrical power supply and distribution system. It has helped in actualizing the small station concept is the redesign of the tunnel ventilation system by arranging of vertical fans, as against the horizontal fans as proposed in Phase 1. Danfoss is providing its state-of-the-art VLT® HVAC Drives to the Chennai Metro Rail for operating tunnel ventilation fans. With the Fire Mode functionality, the VLT® HVAC Drive keeps running continuously regardless of alarms and warnings, without derating in high ambient temperature.

Chennai metro has also seen the use of the Ballastless track depot for the first time in Indian Metro. To facilitate crossing of the Kathipara flyover near Alandur, the Elevated Corridor No.2 has 3 spans of the balanced cantilever type, (Spans 59, 75 & 39 m), which were constructed without providing any temporary supports from underneath and also without disturbing the traffic. While in Guindy, elevated: Steel Girders of span 69 m and 36 m have been provided across Railway Tracks. These are the only spans which are of steel, all others being of concrete.

A new method of TBM retrieval was used first time in Chennai to counter the constraints due to lack of space for confinement within the shaft. The shaft was filled with bentonite and water up to upper track slab level prior to the breakthrough.

 

 

KOCHI

India’s first metro station with CBTC (Communication Based Train Control) signaling system- Kochi. Commenting on the news, A.P.M. Mohammed Hanish, MD, Kochi Metro Rail Ltd. said, “Kochi Metro Rail has a number of firsts to its credit like the first Indian Metro to have a Communication Based Train Control signalling system, Automatic Fare Collection System, train running information in GTFS format open to commuters and solar panels on the rooftop of all 22 stations to name a few.” “Our trains are UTO compatible. The integrated transport system that KMRL has planned for Kochi Metro is one that involves a single transit card, the integrated timetable with a command and control center.”, he added. In a series of firsts, an agreement was signed with Axis Bank for implementing an Automatic Fare Collection System (AFC) on PPP mode with an open loop EMV Pre-paid card, which can also be used for other commercial purposes than transit.”

The Automated Fare Collection (AFC) system is a critical core component of any Metro system. KMRL has developed a unique PPP model wherein the capital investment as well as the maintenance cost is taken care by a bank and in return the bank to have a co-branded card for Kochi Metro System. Axis bank had won the tender and will now be paying KMRL a royalty of Rs.209 crore over the next 10 years for the right to be the partner in this endeavor. In addition to this, 0.2 percent of gross revenues, from the utilization of this debit card outside KMRL’s ecosystem in various mercantile outlets and Internet transactions, will also accrue to KMRL over the next 10 years. This PPP model is the first of its kind and is expected to change funding models for AFC systems in the metro industry globally.

Also all station activities are managed by a women self-help group called Kudumbashree (A project under poverty eradication program of Government of Kerala) to be the best example of social inclusion First Government agency to engage people from the transgender community in ticketing, customer relations and housekeeping.

 

5D Building Information Modelling (BIM)

Maha Metro has taken a pioneering step to integrate 5D Building Information Modelling (BIM) with ERP application to create ‘ONE PROJECT ONE PLATFORM’ thereby automating its project management processes.

This platform would keep on evolving from various learnings as it is applied to multiple projects and this cycle will keep on repeating. “We have drastically improved our construction material testing setup as it is very critical to ensure the overall quality of construction. Maha-Metro has set up a well-equipped ultra-modern with Bureau Veritas (A global leader in Testing, Inspection, and Certification) to test the quality of materials used in the construction works. This facility is also used for training purpose, to disseminate technical knowledge to the staff of Maha Metro as well as contractors and consultants. This facility will also provide testing services to other Government agencies based at Nagpur and Central India. We are in a position to ensure some revenue from this tie-up. This is a path-breaking initiative of Maha Metro., says, Brijesh Dixit, MD, Maha Metro.

 

 

MUMBAI- First all-electric locomotive

Alstom announced the completion of its first all-electric locomotive from its state-of-the-art locomotive facility at Madhepura, Bihar, on schedule. The new locomotives are expected to bring down both operating costs and greenhouse gas emissions. This first locomotive is part of a €3.5 billion order comprising 800 electric double-section locomotives, which forms a part of the Ministry of Railways’ public-private partnership programme to modernize the country’s rail infrastructure. This contract is also one of the biggest contracts in the history of Alstom. “Our operations in India are paramount to our business globally and we continue to stay committed to developing India’s infrastructure needs, improving the quality of services to citizens and investing in the nation’s economy,” said Henri-Poupart Lafarge, Chairman and CEO, Alstom. The company had created a localized supply chain for this project, with 90 per cent of the components for the prototype sourced locally. With 12,000 horsepower, each double section locomotive, has a hauling capacity of 6,000 tonnes and speed of 120km/hr, allowing faster and safer movement of heavier freight trains across the country. Alstom also has recently announced three new contracts worth approximately €75 million – power supply contract from the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (MMRCL), contract for new train sets from Chennai Metro Rail Corporation and another power supply contract from Jaipur Metro Rail Corporation.

 

 

PUNE- Mass-spring system from Getzner

Urban train operations generate vibrations and noise, which affect the people living and working in its surroundings. The mass-spring system from Getzner efficiently mitigates such vibrations and the secondary air-borne noise.

Sanjay Risbood, CEO and Resident Director of Getzner India explains, “The goal of mass-spring systems is to elastically decouple the track superstructure from its surrounding in order to reduce the transmission of vibrations.” The Austrian company Getzner is the world technology leader in the field of vibration isolation in the railway, construction and industry sectors. “We have supplied full surface mass-spring systems for projects in cities of India like Delhi, Bangalore, Lucknow, and Mumbai,” Sanjay added.

 

 

CONCLUSION

While metro rail the world over is now a well-accepted urban transportation solution, India with its contrasting land features, population density, interest groups, economic and environmental limitations present an interesting test site to study the metro experiment. S V Desai, Executive Vice President & Head – Heavy Civil Infrastructure IC, L&T Construction sums up the metro surge mood best,

"The Government’s focus on the sector is another reason why we are cautiously optimistic of sustained growth going forward. The future certainly looks bright!"




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