Kolkata: With the first phase of the much delayed East West Metro project racing towards completion, driverless rakes to carry passengers will arrive in the city by March 2018. Commercial operations will begin in June after a three-month trial run.
The driverless rakes are being manufactured at the coach factory in Bengaluru. Five rakes, each comprising six coaches, will be brought to Kolkata to commence the East West Metro service. Nine more rakes will be added later to start full-scale operations.
The East West Metro will initially run from Salt Lake Sector V to Phoolbagan. The intermediate stations will be Central Park (Karunamoyee), City Centre, Bengal Chemical, and Salt Lake Stadium. Only the Phoolbagan station will be underground while the rest will be along an elevated corridor.
Officials of the Kolkata Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (KMRCL) informed that each rake will have a motorman to allay passenger fears of travelling in a driverless train. Each station will have passenger screen doors to prevent suicides. Underground ventilation work at the Phoolbagan station will take some time to complete.
Work on the 7km stretch between Sector V and Phoolbagan picked up only after land acquisition hurdles at Duttabad, adjacent to the EM Bypass, were resolved last year.