Firm’s Joint Venture with Alstom Projects Bags Rs.444.22 – Cr Contract
Chennai: A joint venture of Larson & Toubro and Alstom Projects has bagged the Rs. 449.22 crore contract to design and lay tracks for Chennai Metro Rail. The work is to be completed in 4 years.
According to a statement from Metro Rail, the company will design, manufacture and lay tracks for the entire length of corridor I, corridor II and also the depot coming up at Koyambedu. “The track work consists of 109 route km including 15 route km inside the depot at Koyambedu,” the statement said.
Metro Rail has selected a standard gauge system, which means the width between two rails will be 1,435 mm. Double tracks will be laid along the two corridors – Washermanpet to Airport via Anna Salai and Chennai Central via Koymbedu to St. Thomas Mount.
Of the total 45 km, 24 km will be underground and 21km will be elevated. Corridor I – Washermenpet to airport – will be 23.1 km long, of which 14.3 km will be underground and 8.8 km will be elevated; while corridor II- Chennai Central to St. Thomas Mount – will be 22 km long, of which 9.7 km will be underground and 12.3 km elevated.
The portions from Washermenpet to Saidapet on Anna Salai in Corridor I and the portions from Chennai Central to Tirumangalam in Corridor II will be underground and the remaining portions will be elevated.
As roads in Chennai are narrow, Metro Rail has adopted the standard gauge system for tracks. This gauge permits construction of sharper turns as turning radius of the trains will be much less when compared to broad gauge. Moreover, standard gauge has also minimised land acquistion.
Most Metro Rail systems across the world, including Delhi and Bangalore, have chosen standard gauge. “This will also reduce cost of construction because standard gauge tracks require tunnels with a smaller diameter. Underground tunnels are very expensive, costing around Rs.300 crore per kilometre,” said a source.
The weight of a metro coach is also lower for standard gauge than for broad gauge, which results in saving on energy consumption during operation. As Metro Rail is meant for urban transit, it was decided that there was no need to integrate the tracks into the railway network which is broad gauge.
“Instead of linking tracks to the railway, we will be linking metro with the railway network in such a way that commuters will be able to get down from metro trains and board suburban trains operated by the railways,” said an official.
At St.Thomas Mount, metro line and suburban line will come at different levels at the same railway station. Similarly, at Chennai Central, the underground tunnels will be constructed for commuters to access the suburban railway station and also the main railway station.
Courtesy: The Times of India, Jan 22, 2011.