The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) carried out a trial run for monorail on the three-km stretch between Wadala and Acharya Atre Nagar on Independence Day, bringing it a step closer to reality.
The 11.2km Wadala-Jacob Circle corridor, the second phase of the monorail project, is expected to be operational by the end of the year or early next year.
The MMRDA started trial runs as the electrification of the stretch is complete. However, the trial run did not involve checking the functioning of the signalling system.
The trial started with a monorail train leaving Wadala station at 8.31am.
The rake reached Acharya Atre Nagar station at 8.44am, after crossing two stations -- GTB Nagar and Antop Hill. The train started the return journey at 8.47am and reached Wadala station at 9am.
The average speed of the monorail during the trial run was 15kmph.
“We finished electrification of the entire corridor. So we decided to start trial runs, with the first trial on Independence Day,” said Sanjay Khandare, additional commissioner of MMRDA.
The MMRDA officials had carried out the trial for the first monorail between Wadala and Bhakti Park station on Republic Day in 2010.
After the trial runs, an independent private firm will conduct another set of trial runs.
The commissioner of railway safety will issue a certificate to start operations, after going through all aspects of the project.
Although the electrification was completed long ago, trial runs could not be conducted owing to the delay in procurement of switches to change tracks, said sources.
The MMRDA is yet to receive two switches from the manufacturer in Malaysia.
The second phase is likely bring sufficient revenue for the monorail, which is currently incurring huge losses as the first phase (Chembur to Wadala) passes through areas that offer poor connectivity with other modes of transport.
The second phase will connect five suburban railway stations connecting all three rail lines in the city.