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Metro trains few for two weeks

Metro trains will not be available at five-minute intervals during peak hours for about a fortnight from Monday to facilitate construction of a station in Noapara, beyond Dum Dum.

Trains will run at a gap of six minutes during peak hours from November 19 to December 2. Metro trains are now available at five-minute intervals between 9am and 11am, and 5pm and 7pm on weekdays. “For this fortnight, trains will run at six-minute intervals between 8.36am and 8pm,” said a senior official of Metro Railway. From 7.30am to 8.20am and from 8pm to 9pm, trains will be available at 10-minute intervals.

The frequency has been altered because, from Saturday, trains cannot enter the Noapara shed. Peak-hour passengers, however, will feel the effect only from Monday as the minimum interval on Saturday and Sunday is more than five minutes.

Metro rakes are parked at the Noapara shed at night. Daily maintenance is also conducted there.

“During this fortnight, we will be two short of our 22 rakes because of a lack of waiting area during the night,” said an official.

Outside Noapara, there is space for parking only 20 rakes.Two rakes are usually kept in reserve while normal services are run. During emergencies, when a rake develops snags, one of the reserve rakes is pressed into service.

Keeping two rakes for emergencies, only 18 would thus be available during the fortnight.

“With 18 rakes, it isn’t possible to run trains at five-minute intervals,” the official said.

Noapara will be developed into a “hub station” from where trains will start for Barrackpore, Airport and Barasat stations once the new routes become operational. Trains on the existing Kavi Subhash-Dum Dum route will also go till Noapara, said an official.