Kolkata Metro passengers to soon travel in a Chinese train rake! Currently, the trials of a new Kolkata Metro rake from China this rake are being conducted. According to a Kolkata Metro official quoted in a PTI report, the move to introduce new rakes is aimed at phasing out the old fleet. Last year, five new rakes manufactured by Indian Railways’ Integral Coach Factory (ICF) in Chennai were made operational by the Kolkata Metro. The rakes, on an average, run 22 to 24 trains daily on the 27.2 km long Noapara-Kavi Subhash route. A total of 40 AC rakes have been ordered from different manufacturers to augment the Kolkata Metro services. While 16 rakes are from the ICF, 14 rakes are from China’s CNR Dalian Locomotive and Rolling Stock Company. The remaining rakes are from China’s CRRC Zhuzhou Locomotive Company.
According to the report, the delivery of rakes from Dalian has already begun, with the first one arriving late last year. Kolkata Metro spokesperson Indrani Banerjee was quoted as saying that for the smooth integration of the new rake into the metro system, a team of experts from Chinese manufacturer Dalian is working with engineers from RDSO and the Kolaka Metro. She further said that every week, trial runs are being conducted for two to three days, after commercial services end at night.
According to the spokesperson, the new rakes are equipped with the latest technology and they have to be looked into before they are integrated into the system. Only after the new rake gets a nod from the Commissioner of Railway Safety (CRS), it will be made operational.
Kolkata Metro, which continues to operate old, non AC rakes from 1984, finally introduced five indigenously developed rakes last year. With this, some relief was provided to commuters. After some teething problems that were addressed in the initial stages, these home-made rakes have now smoothly integrated into the system, the spokesperson said. According to Banerjee, the authorities of the Kolkata Metro plan to run only AC coaches by the end of 2020. Since it is the winter season now, some non-AC rakes are being operated along with AC ones, she added.