Chennai Metro to run driverless trains on Poonamallee-Power House line

The first set of three-coach driverless trains for Chennai Metro Rail is likely to arrive in the city by August 2024.

These trains will be first run on the Poonamallee-Power House stretch in 2026 as part of the upcoming Phase 2 project of Chennai Metro Rail system that will cover 118.9 km of the city.

Although four-coach trains are run on Phase 1 lines, the Phase 2 lines will see three-coach and later six-coach trains.

According to officials of Chennai Metro Rail Ltd. (CMRL), once the train arrives from Sri City, it will be taken to the depot in Poonamallee which is being built for train maintenance and testing purposes.

e coaches will arrive individually and will have to be connected as a train. Then, the train will be made to go through a series of static and dynamic tests. These include testing of traction, brake system, train control and management system, passenger information system and various other aspects of the train.

They will be subjected to test runs at first within the tracks built inside the depot at Poonamallee. After the signalling system is delivered, systems will be integrated and trains will once again be tested to check for any failures or glitches. This will continue for at least 10 or 12 months,” an official said.

A few more train sets were likely to arrive in October and November. Although the first set is scheduled to arrive in August, the sources said they had requested the contractor to try and deliver it by June 2024. Before these trains are pressed into service, Research Designs and Standards Organisation (RDSO) has to certify the trains as fit for operations.

The trains that run in Phase 1 cannot be run on Phase 2 as the design, control and signalling systems are different. Sources said the colour and look of the driverless trains for Phase 2 had not been decided yet.

The Poonamallee-Power House stretch is a section of the larger corridor and runs for 26.1 km and CMRL has ordered for 26 driverless trains to be operated on this stretch.

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