The Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL) on Saturday (February 11) invited bids from consulting firms to conduct a feasibility study to introduce air-conditioned coaches for Beach–Tambaram-Chengalpattu line of the Chennai Suburban Railway.
Owned and operated by the Southern Railway, the Chennai Suburban Railway is a commuter rail system comprising four different lines and covering a total network length of 200 km.
South Line: Chennai Beach to Tambaram –Chengalpattu (60km)
Southwest line – Chennai Central to Arakkonam (69 km)
Northeast Line – Chennai Central to Gummidipoondi (47 km)
MRTS Line Chennai Beach to Velachery (19 km)
The average daily ridership is estimated to be 10.3 lakhs.
To enhance the quality of service provided for passengers using the Suburban Railway, the state government is exploring the possibility of offering air-conditioned services in the existing suburban trains in collaboration with Southern Railways, particularly for the 60 km Beach-Tambaram-Chengalpattu line.
Seeking to emulate the recent upgrades in rolling stock used in the Mumbai suburban network, the state government plans to introduce and operate air-conditioned coaches on the Tambaram-Beach line by deploying an exclusive trainset with air-conditioned rakes or a combination of air-conditioned and non-air-conditioned coaches.
Chennai Beach to Chengalpattu via Tambaram corridor covers many residential areas, commercial zones and tourist spots, including Chennai Beach, Park, Egmore, Nungambakkam, Guindy, Tirusulam, Pallavaram, Tambaram, Vandalur, Guduvancheri & Chengalpattu.
Beach-Chengalpattu line carries about 5 lakh passengers, accounting for nearly 50% of the total suburban passenger daily ridership. Almost 65% of first-class passes issued are for this line.
Scope Of Feasibility Study
Though the Southern Railway owns and operates the suburban rail network in Chennai, the feasibility study will be anchored by CMRL.
The successful bidder for the feasibility study is expected to collect and analyse the current Chennai Beach- Tambaram southern suburban railway line station-wise passenger boarding and alighting data from Southern Railway.
As part of the feasibility study, a detailed analysis needs to be conducted on the air-conditioned suburban train operations on the Mumbai network, including operational model, fare structure, operational cost and institutional setup.
The winning bidder will carry out a passenger survey with a minimum sample size of 10,000 (i.e., 2% of existing users) to understand user experience in issues of access, affordability, usage pattern of the suburban rail network, and the willingness to pay and extent of price differential acceptable to the current users.
The selected consultant is also expected to determine the financial and economic viability of the project through the internal economic rate of return (EIRR).
The selected consultant is required to project the additional requirements for air-conditioned rake operations, including additional traction load, augmentation of transformers, rake configuration, rolling stock, and procurement plan.
The last date for submission of bids is February 27 and the bids will be opened on March 6.
An appeal from Swarajya
At Swarajya, we rely on our readers' support through subscriptions to sustain our media platform. Unlike larger conglomerates, we are unable to relentlessly chase advertising money — our model is largely built on your patronage.
Your support has never been more crucial. We work tirelessly to deliver 10-15 high-quality articles daily, ensuring you receive insightful content from 7 AM to 10 PM.
If you believe India's story has to be articulated in a way it has never been done before without shrugging it off, become a patron (or) subscribe now for ₹̶2̶4̶0̶0̶ ₹1999 and get 12 print issues, unlimited digital access for 1 year, a special India that is Bharat T-shirt (Offer ends soon).
We are counting on you!