Monorail gets a test drive today | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Monorail gets a test drive today

Mumbai’s first alternative transport system, the monorail, a surrogate to the overburdened railway system where eight people stand on less then one square metre of space, will be put through a test run on Tuesday.

mumbai Updated: Jan 26, 2010 01:17 IST
Zeeshan Shaikh

Mumbai’s first alternative transport system, the monorail, a surrogate to the overburdened railway system where eight people stand on less then one square metre of space, will be put through a test run on Tuesday.

Chief Minister Ashok Chavan will be present at the test run of the Rs 2,460-crore monorail, which will eventually run between Jacob Circle and Chembur. A consortium of Larsen & Toubro and SCOMI Engineering Bhd, Malaysia, is building the 19.54-km line.

The trial, however, will take place on a 108-metre stretch at Wadala.

Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) officials were keen to conduct the trial on a one-kilometre stretch, but the electrification required for the trial was complete only on 108 metres.

MMRDA officials hope that the Jacob Circle-Chembur route will be complete by May 2011.

“The trial is basically being carried out to check the track alignment and the smoothness of the running tyres. It will help us spot any glitches there might be in the system,” said MMRDA spokesman Dilip Kawathkar.

SCOMI, which has built the coaches, has flown down four specially-trained monorail drivers for the trial. S. Panudoorai, an Indian-origin driver who has been working with the Kuala Lumpur monorail system for the past 10 years, is likely to be the first to test the system.

The MMRDA hopes to eventually build a monorail network across Mumbai, which can act as a feeder service for the railway and Metro. “The monorail can go to places where heavier transportation systems can’t go. It will play the role of a feeder service, like the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport buses but will have a higher passenger-carrying capacity,” said Metropolitan Commissioner Ratnakar Gaikwad.

There would be 14 monorail trains of four coaches each, which would have a capacity of at least 500 commuters each. The frequency would be 4.5 minutes. Commuters would be charged Rs 8 to Rs 20 depending upon the distance.