Metro - Urban - Suburban Systems

Mumbai (Bombay) Suburban

Bombay suburban services are run by CR and WR. Both run many hundreds of trains every day, and carry around 6 million passengers a day, roughly evenly divided between them. CR services connect the eastern suburbs to the city, whereas WR services connect the northern suburbs to the city. [4/02] CR runs around 1090 services daily, whereas WR runs around 980 services. Supply has not kept pace with the demand, however, as the number of passengers grew about 2.5 times as fast as the capacity of the system through the 1980s and 1990s.

See the section on EMUs for details of EMU rake formations, EMU history, numbering, etc. on the Mumbai suburban network.

The Mumbai Urban Transport Project (MUTP) is the master plan for further integrated development of Mumbai's transport infrastructure, divided into two phases, MUTP-I to be completed by about 2007 and MUTP-II to be completed by 2011. Among its proposals of railway significance include:

  • The use of 12-car EMU rakes for all services
  • The eventual switch to 25kV AC traction
  • Additional tracks for both the WR and CR corridors (along with provisions for equitable relocation of displaced persons). These include additional 5th and 6th tracks to be laid between Kurla and Thane on CR, and Borivali-Virar track quadrupling. A fifth track is already operational on WR between Mumbai Central and Borivli. An additional pair of tracks are also planned between Bandra and Andheri (a new track was opened here in 1995), which would ease the traffic for the Harbour branch of CR up to Andheri.
  • Extension of suburban traffic on the railway line between Mankhurd and Belapur (which was opened in 1993) to connect New Mumbai to Mumbai.
  • Doubling of Belapur-Panvel line
  • Bandra-Kurla east-west link
  • Thane-Thurbe rail link
  • Station improvements
  • Grade-separation of road-rail crossings

The improvements are expected to increase capacity by 35%, and allow a higher frequency of train services during peak hours. AC-DC EMUs have already been introduced as part of the optimization plan, and eventually all of the Mumbai suburban system will switch from the 1.5kV DC traction system to the 25kV AC traction system which offers greater economies and efficiencies of operation. (By the way, the plan is named 'MUTP-II' as it has a predecessor, MUTP-I, which provided for several improvements to the suburban services and which was completed in 1984.)

Other proposed enhancements to the suburban services include: Bandra-Colaba underground railway, Bandra-Kurla elevated railway, and a 'Sky Bus' suspended overhead railway system (using linear induction motor technology) championed by Konkan Railway. [5/02] The first section of the 'Sky Bus', between Andheri and Ghatkopar (8.3km), has been sanctioned for preliminary studies and project planning. [6/03] More recent reports suggest that the Andheri-Ghatkopar section will be a conventional light rail section, perhaps elevated in parts and not a full 'Sky Bus' system. Preliminary approval was also given [3/04] to plans for a more extensive light rail network covering this stretch and others. With all this the precise plans for Mumbai remain somewhat murky. Most recently [6/04] reports have suggested that the Mumbai MRTS (Mass Rapid Transit System) plan will include an elevated route (9m high) between Versova and Ghatkopar, with 12 stations between the eastern and western corridors covering a route length of 14.5km. The elevated section would carry 50,000 passengers an hour and is planned to be constructed by 2008. In late 2004 and early 2005, there was also much talk about a possible underground metro system for Mumbai.

In May 2010, WR announced plans to shift the Harbour Line corridor to the west after Mahim, instead of Bandra, to allow for expansion projects involving laying a fifth and a sixth line between Bandra and Borivli. This will include decommissioning the Khar flyover currently used for 9-car Harbour locals from Khar to Bandra and construction of a new railway fly-over just after Mahim and ending near the Mithi river in Bandra. Two additional lines being laid over the Mithi will be used exclusively for Harbour Line trains. The Harbour Line will also be extended from Andheri to Goregaon. The fifth and sixth lines for the Western corridor will be housed on the eastern side, but will be segregated from the Harbour Line. The present fifth line that enters Bandra terminus is likely to become defunct as a result.

[3/06] Recently, proposals for a metro subway system in Mumbai have started getting firmer. The new proposals for the Mumbai Metro call for a Phase One consisting of lines from Colaba to Charkop, Versova to Ghatkopar, and Bandra to Mankhurd. The 38.2km Colaba-Charkop line is to be taken up for construction first. Stations proposed on the Colaba-Charkop line are: Colaba, Nariman Point, Hutatma Chowk, CST-Metro, Phadke Chowk, Chandanwadi, Girgaon, Minerva, Mumbai Central, Gadge Chowk, Mahalaxmi, Worli Hill, Acharya Atre Chowk, Udyog Bhawan, Siddhi Vinayak Temple, Dadar, Shivaji Park, Shitla Devi, Mahim, Bandra, municipal park, Khar, Arya Samaj Chowk, S V Road, Vile Parle, Juhu, JVPD, ESIC Nagar, D N Nagar, Shastri Nagar, Samartha Nagar, Oshiwara, Bangur Nagar, Kasturi Park, Malad, Charkop. Eleven of these stations may be located underground. Four-car rakes (each carrying 1,500 passengers) running at four-minute intervals are planned. Interestingly, the current proposal is for the metro to be on Standard Gauge instead of IR's broad gauge. Phase 2 will connect Charkop to Bandra.

[1/10] The Mumbai Monorail project plans to launch 14 monorail trains on a network of monorail lines in Mumbai. The first line is proposed to be the 19.4km route between Jacob Circle and Chembur. Each 4-coach monorail train will have a capacity of 500 passengers and is expected to run every 4 minutes or so. On Jan. 26, 2010, a test run of 108m was completed near Wadala on a trial monorail section.

WR services have their origins in the Virar - Backbay line started by the BB&CI railway in 1867. CR services have their origin in the suburban services of the GIPR. The GIPR added its Harbour branch in 1925.

'Anchoring a City Line', published by WR, has a lot of details about WR suburban services. Another useful reference (but out of print and hard to find) is 'History of Bombay Suburban Railways' by Dr A K Arora. Details of these are to be found in the section on books.

The MUTP project headquarters is at Churchgate Station Annexe (2nd floor), Mumbai.

Kolkata (Calcutta)

The Kolkata Metro uses a 5'6" gauge, and traction is via a third rail, using 750V DC. The whole rake is through vestibuled. Rolling stock is from ICF, Madras and the electricals from NGEF, Bangalore. The rolling stock is unique in that they are the only ones in India with end-mounted cab doors (excepting some of the WAG-6 series locos!). The metro uses ballastless track.

The first metro line of Kolkata Metro runs from Tollygunge in the south to Dum Dum in the north, about 16.5km with 17 intermediate stations in addition to the two termini. The termini are on the surface while the rest of the stations are underground. The Calcutta Metro is currently [3/02] the only underground railway system in India.

Construction was begun in 1972 and finished in 1995. Services to Bhowanipore from Esplanade were introduced on Oct. 24, 1984 and end-to-end through service started on Sep. 27, 1995, with 16 of the intermediate stations operational. The last, Mahatma Gandhi Road, was commissioned on Feb. 11, 1996. Currently [3/02] more than 70 trains run every day carrying over 200,000 passengers. The trains run at intervals of about 10 minutes at peak hours and 15 minutes otherwise.

Construction work is under way [since 5/99] to extend the line beyond Tollygunge to the New Garia station via Kudghat, Naktala, Garia Bazar, and Pranabnagar, to provide connections with other suburban trains there and thereby increase utilization of the Metro. Tollygunge - Garia Bazaar is expected to be done by September 2010. The extension is expected to be an elevated line and will bring the total route length to about 24.5km. A 5.7km-long elevated section connecting to the Dum Dum airport is being studied [2/01] Also under consideration is an extension line: Dum Dum - Baranagar - Dakshineshwar. As of [2/05], plans have been published for an east-west link connecting New Town Rajarhat with Dasnagar in Howrah. The 23km route will have perhaps 17 stations between the termini. Starting at New Town, the route will touch Karunamoyee (Salt Lake), City Centre, Central Park, EM Bypass (via Shyamali Housing Estate), Salt Lake Stadium, and Sealdah station. Here, going underground, it will reach the Central Metro station and then go on to BBD Bag, Jagannath Ghat, and under the river to reach Howrah station at surface level, and thence proceed via Howrah Maidan and Kadamtala to Dasnagar.

[12/10] Work began in Dec. 2010 for Phase 1 of the Joka - BBD Bag project, the first portion of the proposed extension plan for metro lines between Garia and Rajarhat, Noapara and Barrackpore, and later, further north to Kalyani.

[2/01] There are reports of a version of ATC being tested for the Kolkata Metro, to enable reduced headway (down to 8 minutes and possibly 5 minutes) between trains.

For some time [12/04] there have been proposals for elevated light rail (or even monorail networks) along major road arteries, but none of the early proposals materialized. More recently [2/10] Kolkata Mass Rapid Transit was formed to implement a light rail project. The project was officially started on Feb. 18, 2009 and is known as the Light Rail Transit System (LRTS). The LRTS project will stretch over 40 kilometer and will comprise two corridors namely Joka to Esplanade and the Esplanade to Barrackpore sector. The air conditioned LRTS will start from north and end at the southern part of the city through central district connecting 37 stations including Taratala, Khidderpore, AJC Bose Road, Park Street, Esplanade, Sealdah, Shyambazar, Dunlop, Khardha, Titagarh and Barrackpore.

In addition, an East-West Metro Rail project was announced in Feb. 2009. This is supposed to link with the LRTS at Sealdah.

Q. What cities in India had trams in the past?

In India, the cities of Calcutta, Bombay, Madras, and Delhi had trams in the past (until the 1940s). Calcutta is the only one that still has them. In present-day Pakistan, Karachi was the only city to have trams in the past.

Recently [12/06] proposals have been floated to reintroduce trams in Mumbai, specifically in South Mumbai.

The headquarters of the Calcutta metro are at Metro Rail Bhawan, Jawahar Lal Nehru Road, Calcutta.

Calcutta also has a well-developed EMU system serving the suburbs of the metropolitan area. A Circular Railway also exists. This developed from an older EIR link between Dum Dum and Ultadanga for transport of goods to the Chitpur goods yard. These lines, which had been out of use for some time, were rehabilitated and new portions added so that a through line was created between Princep Ghat and Dum Dum Jn. (1984). A Dum Dum to Majherhat section is under construction. There are plans to add links from the Circular Railway to the airport (from Dum Dum and Rajarhat), and a Majherhat-Thakurpur link (partly elevated, partly at grade).

[3/03] The Circular Railway is to be extended eventually from Bidhannagar Road to CBD Terminal (Rajarhat New Town). An extension between Dum Dum Cantt. to the airport has also been proposed.

The Calcutta tramways

This is the only surviving system of urban tramways in India now. The system runs on standard gauge, an oddity in India. The first horse-drawn trams ran in 1873, from Sealdah to Armenian Ghat Street (3.8km). The system was introduced on Feb. 24 and closed on Nov. 20 for lack of sufficient patronage. In 1880 horse-drawn trams were introduced again between the same endpoints, going through Bowbazar Street, Dalhousie Square, Customs House, and Strand Road, with meter-gauge track. Steam trams were introduced in 1882, and electric traction was introduced in 1899, with the entire system being converted to electric traction by 1905. The conversion from meter gauge to standard gauge also occurred at this time.

The Calcutta Tramway Co. (CTC), originally incorporated in England in 1880, is now owned by the West Bengal government. In its heyday the system carried 0.75 million passengers a day with about 275 trams on average on the road at any time. Today [5/05] it carries about 0.15 million passengers with about 170 tramcars on the road at any time. The total fleet strength is 319 with 239 of these being fully operational [12/04]. The network consists of 68km of tracks. Only about 25km of the system is on dedicated right of way. The rest of the network is shared with road traffic.

Current services include 29 routes. The network was larger in the past. There were three waves of closures that shrank the system: The Howrah system of three lines was closed over a period from 1970 to 1973; the Nimtollah (Nimtala) Ghat branch was decommissioned in 1973, and in the 1990s the High Court line and the Howrah Bridge - Howrah Station line were closed. Some construction work has also occurred; the Behala line on the Diamond Harbour road was extended to Joka (15km) in 1986, and a new line from Maniktala to Ultadanga was built in 1985 (this was originally supposed to go to the airport). Services on the system today run from 4:15am to 11:40pm. In 1992, the CTC introduced bus services to augment its tram services.

Calcutta trams are articulated with two cars each with passenger seating, and one driver's cab. The trams are 2.1m wide and 17.5m long. The weight of a tram is 20t-22t (empty). Each car seats 62 and carries 200 at full load. CTC operates 7 depots for the trams; 11 termini located in North Calcutta, South Calcutta, and Central Calcutta also help to store trams.

Traction supply is at 550V DC, supplied by an overhead catenary system. The catenary is at a negative potential. The return current is carried by underground return conductors at a positive potential. Traction power is provided by 12 power substations which rectify 6kV AC (stepped down from the regional grid) to 550V DC using 1MW or 2MW rectifier banks.

Calcutta Tramways Co.

Pictures of Calcutta Trams in the IRFCA gallery

Chennai (Madras)

[1/04] The Madras Rapid Transit System (MRTS) is a partially elevated double track suburban railway in Chennai (Madras) which is an extension of the broad gauge line from Madras Beach. Beach station serves both the existing suburban BG lines and the MRTS. The MRTS line from Beach currently follows the Buckingham canal and goes to Thirumayilai (Mylapore) (now [5/99]; earlier, it stopped at Luz), a distance of 8.97km. This line was commissioned on Oct. 19, 1997.

The line is at surface level at Park Town, Fort, and Beach stations, and elevated starting some distance after Beach (Chintadripet, Chepauk, Tiruvalikeni, Light House); the Thirumayilai station is also elevated.

The line is currently being extended further south to Velacheri (10.8km) in the second phase of the project (six stations -- Mandaveli, Greenways Road, Kotturpuram, Kasturibai Nagar, Indira Nagar,and Thiruvanmiyur -- were opened in Jan. 2004; Taramani I, Taramani II, and Velachery are to be opened later in 2004).

It is expected that in the third phase it will be extended to St. Thomas Mount (which currently serves Tambaram suburban lines, thus allowing for a possibility of passengers to move easily between the existing suburban lines and the MRTS there, although it will probably not allow rakes to move directly from one system to another). From Velacheri, it is expected that the extension will be at surface level until Adambakkam, and becoming an elevated track from there again till St. Thomas Mount, where a new elevated station or extension of the current station will have to be built. The second and later phases of the project use improved technologies such as ballastless tracks and better signalling arrangements.

There are other proposals being considered [5/99], such as an elevated section that would also link Madras Central and Egmore stations. [12/03] This proposal has now been scrapped owing to poor soil conditions for the elevated part on the EVR Salai road.

The MRTS offices are at Periyar EVR High Road, Egmore, Chennai.

Chennai of course also has fairly extensive EMU service, with the MG EMUs (YAU series) as well as the BG EMUs now running after gauge conversion.

The Chennai Metro Rail Project is a proposed new metro system for Chennai. In its first phase, it is expected to have two corridors, totalling about 45km of route length: Washermanpet to Chennai Airport (14.3km underground, 8.8km above-ground, 18 stations); and Chennai Central to Saint Thomas Mount (9.7km underground, 12.3km above-ground).

Pune light railway

Currently [3/00] the Pune corporation has approved a proposal for a light railway system for the city which would run the length of Karve Road between Deccan Gymkhana and Nal Stop. The system is named the Pune High Capacity Mass Transit Route (HCMTR). The promoter is CVH Valz. Electrically powered trains are proposed to be run on a 5.5m high cantilever structure erected on the divider (median) of the road. The train is to be a monorail design. It is expected to move 6000 passengers an hour initially, over the two-kilometer-long route.

Delhi Metro

The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) is the body in charge of the construction and operations of this new metro system for New Delhi. The project is a joint venture of the Government of India (Ministry of Urban Affairs) and the Delhi government. Capital has been raised by soft loans from Japan.

The first phase of the Metro (approved in 1996) proposes 62km of trackage, of which 11km on Line 2 from Vishwa Vidyalaya (Delhi University, North Campus) to Central Secretariat will be underground. The rest is mostly elevated, with some surface tracks as well. In all, there will be 53 stations (11 underground). Expected ridership in 2005 is estimated at around 2.2 million passengers per day. The metro uses Indian broad gauge; earlier there were plans to use standard gauge instead, but the considerations of the ability to interchange with the IR network for the New Delhi suburbs clinched the initial argument in favour of BG. However, further extensions to the metro network beyond the core lines within the New Delhi city area are now being built to standard gauge.

The first section of Delhi Metro from Shahdara to Tis Hazari started commercial services from December 25, 2002. Tis Hazari to Tri Nagar (4.5km [9/03]), to Inderlok [2004-10-04], and to Rithala [2004-04-01] were opened subsequently. This is Line 1, the 'Red Line'. The Shahdara - Rithala section is mostly elevated track.

Construction on the underground Line 2 (the 'Blue Line') was at an advanced stage by [1/03]. Both cut-and-cover and tunnel boring techniques are employed. Line 2 is planned to be opened in stages. The first section (Delhi University (Vishwa Vidyalaya) to ISBT Kashmiri Gate, 4km) was recently [2004-12-20] opened (ahead of schedule). The ISBT - Central Secretariat section started operations in mid-2005.

Line 3 (the 'Yellow Line') running Indraprastha - Barakhamba Road - Dwarka - Dwarka Sub City was approved in 2003 by the Central and State governments. Construction for this line started in February 2003. The Barakhamba Road - Kirti Nagar - Dwarka section opened on Dec. 31, 2005. The Line 3 Extension to Dwarka Sub City may open later, as also the Indraprastha - Barakhamba Road section.

The line from Shahdara to Tis Hazari will be extended to Nangloi, while a branch from near Trinagar will reach Barwala in the northwest.

Currently [1/05] trains are being run every 6 minutes at peak hours on Line 1 with 18 trainsets, at a maximum permissible speed of 80km/h. Line 2 currently [1/05] runs with four trainsets (and an additional one held in reserve); two more trainsets are being commissioned at the Khyber Pass train depot.

Phase 2 of the project is is to be completed by 2010. It involves extending Line 1 to connect to S G Transport Nagar in the North, Line 2 to Vasant Kunj in the South, and Line 3 towards NOIDA, south-east of Delhi. The original plans for Phase 2 envisioned total trackage of around 200km with around 45 stations (perhaps 10 on the subway section, and the rest on surface or elevated sections). At present [4/05] the approved plans for Phase 2 include 53km of new lines: Delhi University - Jahangirpuri (underground to Guru Tegh Bahadur Nagar and elevated to Jahangirpuri), Central Secretariat - Qutab Minar, HUDA City Centre - Gurgaon, IP - Yamuna Depot - New Ashok Nagar, Yamuna Depot - Anand Vihar ISBT, Shahdara - Dilshad Garden, and Kirti Nagar - Mundka. [2/09] The Vishwavidyalaya-Azadnagar-Jehangirpuri section was opened on Feb. 3, 2009. The Line 3 extension to NOIDA was completed in November 2009.

As mentioned above, the first lines of the Delhi Metro were built to broad gauge. New lines coming up are being built to standard gauge: Inderlok-Mundka, Central Secretariat - Badarpur, and the Airport Express line. The 15.15km Inderlok-Mundka line had trial runs with a standard gauge train-set on July 29, 2009 and was opened to the public on April 2, 2010 (and is designated the 'Green Line').

The final planned capacity of the system is expected to be over 3.2 million passengers a day. At peak hours, trains will run every 3 minutes.

Continuous automatic train control (CATC) is used for the entire system. The 'rail corridor' (surface and elevated rail) will use ATP and ATS systems for safety, whereas the 'metro corridor' (the subway section) will use automated train control including ATO (automated train operation) in addition to ATP and ATS, as well as in-cab signalling. Coded AFTC (jointless) will be used for the track circuits. The trains are initially being run at a maximum speed of 50 Km/hr which will be increased once the signalling systems are fully in place.

The initial lot of 60 EMU coaches are being supplied by Rotem of South Korea while subsequent coaches will be indigenously manufactured by Bharat Earth Movers Ltd. (BEML). (The very first batch of coaches consisted of 16 of them used for trial runs.) Contracts have been signed for the delivery of at least 180 coaches. [8/03] Revised figure: 240 coaches total requirements.

BEML began delivery of locally assembled coach sets in August, 2003, and fully locally manufactured units in January 2004. The coaches have stainless steel bodies and fibre-reinforced plastic interiors and weigh about 42t each. They are rated for 80km/h max. speed. The nominal capacity is 58 seated and 325 standing passengers each.

Bombardier Transportation has been delivering train-sets for the Delhi Metro from its plant in Vadodara. In addition, Mitsubishi, ROTEM, and BEML are working on standard gauge train-set models for the newer lines coming up.

All trains are fully air-conditioned and feature continuously connected coaches with vestibules. The trains have wide glass windows and automatic doors which can be controlled by the train operator. The system also provides intercom facilities for the passengers to speak to the driver in case of an emergency.

The metro stations have automated fare collection machines and gates with turnstiles to control entry and exit. Fare collection is by contactless rechargeable smart cards and tokens for single journeys. The current fares [1/03] have been set between Rs 4 and Rs 7 (depending on distance) for the Shahdara - Tis Hazari section.

Another concern, BHEL, will supply a few (initially 2) low-emission diesel locos of 700hp for shunting purposes.

A new law enforcement body, the Delhi Metro Police, has been set up especially to deal with law and order issues on the metro.

Delhi Metro Rail Corporation is at NBDC Place, Pragati Vihar, New Delhi.

The Delhi area has had extensive suburban services including commuter shuttles with MEMUs to nearby towns for long. In recent years many EMU services have been introduced. A Ring Railway route has been in operation since the early 1980s. Run by NR, it provides clockwise and anticlockwise services on a roughly circular route around the core parts of the city, going through Hazrat Nizamuddin station.

Other transit schemes for the New Delhi have been proposed and are at various stages of planning and approval. One intriguing idea is the proposed establishment of a network of monorail routes to act as a feeder service for the metro and suburban railways at key points in the more densely built-up parts of the city.

An unofficial mailing list for fans of the Delhi Metro is at Yahoo Groups. Related material is in the Delhi Metro Pages and there are also pictures in the Delhi Metro Photo Album in the picture gallery.

Konkan Railway Skybus Metro

Konkan Railway Corporation Ltd. has proposed 'Skybus' systems (also sometimes known as 'SkyTrain') as an alternative to subway systems or light rail systems for providing transit solutions to urban areas. The concept involves an elevated railway with cars suspended from the trackway. Some photographs can be found in the picture gallery.

The elevated trackway has three rails in a guideway forming an enclosed passage or duct in the trackway structure, two for the trolleys or bogies from which the Skybus cars hang, and one for traction current. The trolleys ('SkyBogies') have two axles each, and are intended to be of standard gauge. Motive power is by 3-phase AC induction motors or (also proposed) linear induction motors. Braking is by disc and regenerative brakes. A trackway can have two such guideways for bogies (i.e., one for a Skybus track in each direction) and a service duct. The trackway thus forms a box structure.

The trackway is about 8m above ground level, following existing surface roadways in most cases. The trackway will be supported on 1m diameter columns spaced about 15m apart. Trains are to consist of one and two-car formations. Skybus trains are planned to travel at 40km/h or so at first with provision for higher speeds of up to 100km/h eventually since their motion is unobstructed by traffic, providing an advantage over conventional light-rail systems at surface level.

The cost of construction is also said to be about one-third that of underground metro systems (per unit length of track). Prototypes of the cars have been supplied by BEML and Kineco. Kineco prototypes have a fibreglass body. The cars are air-conditioned and provided with automatic doors. Construction on a trial section in Madgaon began in 2003 and a short section of track was ready by April 2004. The first full system trials were run in July-August 2004 and the first public trial at 40km/h over a 1km stretch was on Sep. 15, 2004.

Weight specifications: Bogie weight: 5t, Coach tare weight 6.5t, passenger load 9t, per-axle loads 12t.


[8/04] Many proposals for light rail, elevated light rail, metro (subway) lines, and others have been made for the city of Bangalore, but none has moved much beyond the planning stage.

An elevated light rail system was proposed for Bangalore in the 1990s. The project was expected to be developed in four phases, with the eventual system having 87 stations on 96km of routes, two maintenance facilities, and several yards. The routes would have been organized along 4 different lines. The project got off to a start in 1996, when a consortium led by UB (United Breweries), including Nippon Sharyo, GE Transportation, ICF Kaiser, and Transportation and Transit Associates (TTC), secured the contract for it. They were expected to get alliances with Adtranz, Alstom, Larsen & Toubro, and Siemens. Since then, the project has been languishing in the study and analysis phase and now [8/03] the project appears to be dead. The corporate body set up for running the system was Bangalore Metropolitan Rail Transport Corporation.

Now [2003] a proposal for a metro with two lines (one roughly north-south, the other east-west) intersecting at the Bangalore City railway station is under consideration ([2004] has been approved). [4/05] Detailed plans are being drawn up for the metro project and construction on it may begin in 2006. As with the Delhi Metro in its early days of planning, there was a controversy over whether IR-standard broad gauge should be used or standard gauge used instead. Now [6/10], construction work is proceeding apace. The metro network is scheduled to be opened in several 'reaches': Reach 1 from Byappanahalli to Cricket Stadium on MG Road (6.7km) by Dec. 2010, Reach 2 from Magadi Road to Mysore Road Terminal (6.8km) by late 2012, and Reach 3 from Swastik to Yeshwantpur (6.5km) and Yeshwantpur to Peenya (Reach 3A, 3km) by mid-2011, Reach 4 from KR Road to RV Road (4.5km) and RV Road to Puttenahalli Cross (Reach 4A, 3.6km) by late 2012. An additional extension will run from Peenya depot to Hessarghatta Cross (2.6km).

More recently [12/04] proposals are being floated for other light-rail schemes as well, including one rather exotic plan for a 90km network of monorail transit.

Hyderabad - Secunderabad

An integrated mass transit system (MMTS or 'Multimodal Mass Transit System') consisting of (heavy) BG surface rail for suburban trains, elevated or surface light rail, and possible sections of underground subway lines in the congested heart of Hyderabad, along with bus lines, is under development for the Hyderabad and Secunderabad area. Work on this started in 2000 with the construction of new stations on existing BG railway lines for use by suburban trains. [8/03] Services started on the Lingampally-Hyderabad and Lingampally-Secunderabad sections on August 9, 2003.

In the first phase of the project (now relabelled HMETRO), existing BG lines will be enhanced for suburban EMU services with new stations, new connecting lines, and increased capacity.

For a later phase, a light rail system has been proposed for the area. Part of the system is proposed to be elevated, with the rest at surface level. Expected capacity: 870 passengers per train, 160,000 passengers in each direction at peak hours. The first section is expected to be built between Balanagar and Afzalgunj, and another section possibly to reach Kukatpalli.

In the final phase, it has been proposed that the light rail system serve the congested city centre areas as well, either with elevated lines or with some underground sections. Planning for much of this is still [4/03] going on, so the details for the later phases may well change over time.

In the short term, the work is focused on optimizing the existing rail infrastructure by upgrading signalling, electrification and introduction of EMU services, etc. Ten new stations are to be built between Secunderabad and Lingampally. Road and rail infrastructure between Secunderabad and Falaknuma is also to be upgraded by then.

Currently [4/02] DMUs run on the Secunderabad-Falaknuma section; these will be replaced by MEMUs after electrification. Bolarum-Secunderabad is [4/02] being converted to BG. An MEMU shed is being constructed at Moulali, and terminal facilities will be developed at Secunderabad, Hyderabad, Lingampally, and Falaknuma. Soon new EMU (heavy-rail) routes will be built (and existing railway lines will get additional tracks).

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