Metro design in last leg
The railway authorities are finalising the design of the underground stations on the Joka-Esplanade route in the Maidan area. A design consultant will be hired for the 6.25km stretch between Mominpore and Esplanade stations.
The Joka-Esplanade corridor will stretch for 14.45km. Two stations — IIM Joka and Diamond Park — have been added to the original plan on the northern side.
Initially, it was decided that the tracks would go overground in the Maidan area and a construction cost of Rs 139 crore was approved for the stretch. Railway officials said the cost was revised to Rs 3,000 crore after it was decided that the tracks would go underground. Officials said it would take about five years for the construction to be completed between Mominpore and Esplanade.
Metro spoke to railway officials to find out about the plan.
There will be five stations between Mominpore and Esplanade. The Mominpore station will be overground while Kidderpore, Victoria Memorial, Park Street and Esplanade stations will be underground. The platforms will be on an average 18 metres below the surface. “At Mominpore, the ticket counters will be at the surface level and the platforms above that,” an official said.
The Victoria Memorial station will be built close to the Fountain of Joy. “The location will be convenient for those bound for SSKM Hospital,” an official said.
Two stations will have interfaces with other Metro and suburban railway routes.
The Park Street station will have an interface with the existing north-south line and the Esplanade station with both the north-south corridor and the East-West Metro.
The Park Street station will be built on the Maidan side and passengers will have to walk about 25m to reach the north-south line. Officials said the wall along the Kavi Subhash-bound platform would be brought down to create the interface between the two routes.
Passengers on the Joka-Esplanade route who will get off at Park Street to access the Kavi Subhash-Dum Dum link will have to use the narrow subway that commuters now use to switch platforms.
“The subway is too narrow to accommodate passengers of the two links. So, there is a need for another subway connecting the Joka-Esplanade line with the two platforms of the old link,” said a railway official.
Rail Vikas Nigam ltd (RVNL), the implementing agency of the Joka-Esplanade route, will be asked to take this factor into consideration while finalising the design.
At Esplanade, passengers will have to get to the concourse level above the platform from where they would be able to access trains of the other two lines.
The Majerhat station will have an interface with the suburban line.
Footbridges will be built connecting the Metro station with all platforms of the Majerhat suburban station.
The Joka-Esplanade route will have an advanced signalling system like East-West Metro, officials said.
The communication-based train control system used in Shanghai or Paris Metro will enable trains to run even at 90-second intervals.
The automated system will enable trains to pick up signal from the tracks. As a train moves, the tracks behind it become open for the next to move, keeping a safe distance between the two.