Although the metro trains on Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar (VAG) metro corridor are designed to run at maximum speed of 80 kmph, they could not be operated beyond 48 kmph due to less inter-station distance on the corridor, according to a study carried out by the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA).
The MMRDA has undertaken development of the 11.4 km VAG metro corridor, which has 12 stations. But the distance between stations on this corridor varies from 0.8 to 1.4 km. This means that the metro train will not have enough distance between two stations to reach its maximum speed of 80 kmph.
"We have carried out a study to figure out a suitable speed for operating metro trains on the corridor. We have found that metro trains cannot be operated at their maximum speed due to short inter-station distances. So metro trains can only be operated at maximum speed of 48 kmph on the corridor," said a senior MMRDA official, requesting anonymity.
Metro trains are expected to cover the 11.4 km corridor in 21 minutes, with average speed of 30 to 35 kmph.
The MMRDA has decided to start the corridor in two phases. The first phase - the 7km stretch between Versova and Airport road - is likely to start in September. It is anticipated that the remaining stretch will be functional by early next year.
As of now, ten rakes of the metro train have reached the metro car depot in Versova, while the remaining six are expected soon. MMRDA says the metro service will be operated at 3.5-minute intervals during rush hour.
"As per our plans, there will be a four-rake metro train in each direction after every 3.5 minutes," said PRK Murthy, chief of transport and communication, MMRDA.