The city’s metro dreams may soon come true, with a little help from Chinese engineers.
A team of three Chinese technicians from CSR Nanjing became the first in Mumbai to test-drive the much-awaited Mumbai metro that will run from Versova to Andheri via Ghatkopar.
The three motormen from CSR Nanjing - the company that is also supplying coaches for the metro - held extensive demonstrations and trial runs for a period of five days, starting from Monday. The entire exercise was held to help the Mumbai Metro One Pvt Ltd (MMOPL) for the full-fledged trial runs expected to be held in September.
“The metro was driven for a short distance by engineers from CSR Nanjing. The Chinese engineers were accompanied in the driving cabin by the local trainers who will be running the metro,” sources said.
The Chinese team of CSR Nanjing had come down as the company is supplying the metro coaches to MMOPL.
The MMOPL is buying 64 coaches valued at Rs700 crore from CSR Nanjing. It is now also seeking permission from the state to procure 44 extra rakes from the same agency, which will cost MMOPL Rs500 crore.
Apart from providing the trains, CSR Nanjing is also providing a Rs10-crore simulator that will help in training drivers, and had also taken 16 drivers to Seoul and Nanjing to train them on how to drive the metro.
Officials involved in the entire process now claim that subsequent tests will be conducted by Indian drivers who have been trained by the Chinese.
HT had reported on August 6 the plans of the authorities to undertake trail runs for the metro in September.
Trains will start from the metro car shed at DN Nagar and run for about 1.5-2 km during the trials. The trials will be held for a period of three months, and are meant to test the tracks and the line’s electrical and signalling systems.
The Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar line is the first corridor of the ambitious Mumbai metro rail project. The corridor, estimated to cost Rs2,356 crore, will connect the central and western suburbs.