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More newer rakes in Kolkata Metro fleet

Fifteen coaches are part of the group made at the Integral Coach Factory near Chennai and the remaining 13 are older, made by BHEL

Debraj Mitra | Published 21.10.21, 07:12 AM
The Calcutta Metro fleet now comprises 28 trains, all air-conditioned.

The Calcutta Metro fleet now comprises 28 trains, all air-conditioned.

File picture

For the first time in many years, the newer rakes outnumber the older ones in the Kolkata Metro fleet, long dubbed as “ageing and snag-prone”. 

The Kolkata Metro fleet now comprises 28 trains, all air-conditioned.

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Fifteen rakes are part of the group made at the Integral Coach Factory near Chennai and called Medha rakes. The remaining 13 are older, made by BHEL.

“Six new trains, made at the Integral Coach Factory near Chennai, have arrived since September 2020 and are part of the operational fleet. Three more are due to arrive in the next four months,” said a Metro official.

The focus on Medha rakes is in sharp contrast with the lack of urgency surrounding the sole foreign rake at the disposal of the Metro.

A rake made in Dalian in China had arrived in Kolkata in March 2019 to boost the ageing Metro fleet. The train has yet to start commercial runs.

“The train is still awaiting clearance from the Research Designs and Standards Organisation. A team from China will come to Kolkata for some pending modifications,” said a senior official. 

The first of the 14 rakes that the Chinese firm was contracted to supply arrived at the Kolkata port on March 3, 2019, breaking the monopoly of the Integral Coach Factory, the sole supplier to Kolkata Metro. 

The Chinese rakes were then billed as the best bet to replace the snag-prone old rakes and reduce the burden on the existing air-conditioned rakes. 

Metro engineers had initially said they were enthused by the “impressive performances” of the Dalian rake in tests.

In comparison, the Medha rakes had a bumpy start.

The first two rakes from Integral Coach Factory had arrived in July 2017 but had to wait for almost two years to start commercial runs in April 2019.

But Metro officials claimed the problems with the Medha rakes had been addressed.

“We sent teams to the ICF manufacturing unit and their teams visited Kolkata to sort out the issues. As of now, the problems have been addressed and the trains are running smoothly. We will soon include more Medha rakes in our fleet,” said Manoj Joshi, the general manager of Metro Railway.

Last updated on 21.10.21, 07:12 AM
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