#MakeInIndia: Mumbai’s First Underground Metro Line Will Get Driverless Trains Manufactured Domestically

Reliance Infrastructure-built Mumbai Metro One was the first in India to do away with trackside signals (Mahendra Parikh/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

The Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRC), a joint venture between the Centre and Maharashtra to build and operate the capital city’s first underground metro corridor has selected French rail manufacturer Alstom to supply the coaches for the line. Five companies had bid for the project including China’s CRRC whose subsidiary CSR Nanjing Puzhen had supplied the coaches for the first line in the city.

Alstom has been selected for the lowest bid and also because of the newer metro norms imposed by the Centre that mandates 75 per cent of coaches be manufactured locally. India currently has three metro coach manufactures – Bombardier, Alstom and state-owned BEML. Alstom has supplied rolling stock manufactured in Sri City, Andhra Pradesh and Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu for the Chennai and Kochi metros.

While the underground Line 3 will feature communication-based train control (CBTC) that was first implemented on the Reliance Infrastructure-built Line 1, the trains will also be designed for driverless operations. While the recently opened Magenta and Pink lines of the Delhi Metro too have similar capabilities, this will be the first time that driverless trains will be manufactured in India.

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In January this year, it was reported that Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis wanted coach manufacturers to set up factories in Maharashtra as part of his Make In Maharashtra programme. CRRC, owned by the Chinese government had proposed investing Rs 1,500 crore to set up a manufacturing facility at Butibori for the Nagpur Metro.

Maharashtra currently has an operational Metro line and Monorail line in Mumbai, with three lines under construction in Mumbai and one each in Navi Mumbai, Nagpur and Pune.

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