First 2 cars of prototype set to arrive, trial run for Metro Line 3 could begin soon
In an indication that the trial run of Mumbai Metro line-3 (Colaba-Bandra-SEEPZ) — the first underground Metro of the city — will begin soon, the first two cars of a prototype train are all set to be dispatched from Alstom trains manufacturing plant based in Sri City, Andhra Pradesh. The move is in line with the new Maharashtra government’s decision to overturn the previous Uddhav Thackeray-led MVA regime’s decision to relocate the Metro 3 car shed from Aarey Colony to Kanjurmarg. Sources have confirmed that the Urban Development department has initiated proceedings to remove the stay on construction of Metro-3 car shed in Aarey.
The cars of the Metro prototype trains, which were ready for nearly a year, were not brought to the city due to unavailability of the Metro car shed. They are now set to reach Mumbai within the next 8-12 days.
According to the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Ltd(MMRCL), which is the implementing authority of 33.5-km Mumbai Metro Line-3 project, the two cars that are part of a prototype Metro train, having total of 8 Metro cars, were loaded in the trailers on Sunday from Alstom’s manufacturing facility and will be dispatched to Mumbai any moment.
An official said, “It will take around 8-12 days for the trailers to reach Mumbai and then they will be assembled at the temporary facility centre (temporary Metro car shed) at Aarey. Once assembled, the trial run of the Metro can be started between Marol and Maroshi as planned…. All the eight cars of the prototype trains are likely to reach Mumbai around August 15 after which the testing of the Metro can be started.”
He further said that the train will be tested on various parameters, including speed, oscillation and emergency break distance during the 10,000-km test runs. “These tests will be conducted in the tunnels commencing from the temporary facility area and the trial could go on for over three-six months,” the official said.
Earlier, the MMRCL had announced that the first 8-car train, in the form of individual coaches, will arrive in Mumbai by the end of 2021 and it will take about two weeks to assemble the first train after which the trials will start. However, since work on the temporary facility, which started in October 2021, was delayed and there was no carshed to park the train, it was not brought to the city even after the two trains were ready.
As per the initial plan, the first phase of MML-3 between Bandra and Seepz was planned to be completed by December 2021 and the second phase from Bandra-Kurla Complex to Colaba by June 2022. However, due to delays in the project, the MMRCL is now planning to complete the first phase by January 2024 and the second in one-and-a-half years, provided the issue surrounding construction of the Metro car shed is resolved. The second phase of the project from Colaba to BKC is expected to be completed by mid-2025.
The Metro 3 car shed was initially proposed at Aarey Colony during the Devendra Fadnavis led BJP-Shiv Sena government. Facing opposition from environment activists, the plan of building the car shed at Aarey was scrapped by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray after the formation of Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government in November 2019 and the project was shifted to Kanjurmarg.
On June 30, Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and his deputy Devendra Fadnavis decided in the first cabinet meeting to overturn the MVA government’s decision of shifting the car shed from Aarey. Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis directed officials of the Urban Development Department to bring a proposal for building the car shed at Aarey.
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