Bengaluru Metro: BMRCL To Receive 36 New Train Sets From Chinese Firm, Metro Waiting Time To Drop To 3-3.5 Minutes

V Bhagya Subhashini

May 25, 2023, 12:47 PM | Updated 12:46 PM IST

Bengaluru Metro (Source: BMRCL)
Bengaluru Metro (Source: BMRCL)
  • Currently, the BMRCL operates 57 trains with a total of 342 coaches on Namma Metro's Purple and Green lines.
  • When Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) receives the much-delayed 36 new train sets in phases, commuters' wait times for trains on the Purple Line, Green Line and its extension lines would drop to 3-3.5 minutes going forward.

    In December 2019, China Railway Rolling Stock Corporation (CRRC) signed a Rs 1,578 crore contract for 216 coaches, with its affiliate Nanjing Puzhen Co Ltd tasked with providing them. The trains' delivery, however, was halted due to the company's failure to construct a manufacturing unit in India.

    To address the production challenge, the Chinese company has now teamed with Kolkata-based Titagarh Wagons Limited (TWL), which will finish the legalities and begin providing the coaches to BMRCL.

    Following the agreement with the Chinese company, TWL provides 90 per cent of the coaches and other equipment.

    Two prototype train sets, which will be utilised for testing, will be provided by CRRC. The first one will be dispatched by August's end or the beginning of September.

    About 15 of these six-car sets will be Communication-Based Train Control (CBTC) sets, which rely on radio-based communication, while the other 21 are Distance to Go (DTG) coaches, which can be tracked using circuits.

    In November, CRRC will provide the first DTG train set, the prototype for testing and demonstration runs. TWL will supply the remainder starting in March 2024.

    Every month, there will be two train sets provided. On the Purple Line and its extension (Baiyappanahalli and Kengeri), we continue to operate trains at a frequency of 4.5 minutes, and on the Green Line and its extension (Nagasandra and Silk Institute), we continue to operate trains at a frequency of 5, said a BMRCL official.

    The introduction of these coaches will cut the time between trains on the enlarged Purple Line and its entire stretch (Whitefield Adugodi and Challaghatta) to three minutes, and on the extended Green Line and its run, to 3.5 minutes, according to the official.

    On the RV Road-Bommasandra Line (Reach 5), which is anticipated to open in December, there will be a total of 15 CBTC train sets.

    "After the first train set is delivered, each of the following seven months will see the delivery of two sets. After this, the supply of DTG will start," the official added.

    Currently, the BMRCL operates 57 trains with a total of 342 coaches on Namma Metro's Purple and Green lines.

    Reason For Delayed Supply

    Previously, the BMRCL had issued repeated letters to the China Railway Rolling Stock Corporation and even threatened to encash its Rs 372 crore bank guarantee.

    Officials listed two major explanations for the supply disruption. For starters, the Make-in-India initiative's stipulation that 75 per cent of manufacturing take place in India caused difficulties for the Chinese company in locating a local manufacturer.

    The Covid-19 epidemic also had an impact on the production process.

    V Bhagya Subhashini is a staff writer at Swarajya. She tracks infrastructure developments.

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