The launch of a metro system for the city of Kochi in Kerala, India, is on track for June of this year having now passed a number of key milestones. The network, the first in Kerala and the eighth in India is costing 5181 core (US$ 770 million) and its one line will serve 23 stations. Kochi is the second largest city on the western coast of India (after Mumbai) and now boasts a metropolitan population of 2.1 million. The metro is urgently needed as a recent survey of Kochi’s citizens has found a major shift from public to private modes of transport, by almost 11% (60.2% to 49%) in the last year.
Kochi Metro Rail (KMRL) are expecting to lure people back from the roads to public transport with the new metro network; "Our aim is to bring down the number of private vehicles plying on city roads, and encourage people to take public transport.”
On January 2nd of this year, Alstom delivered the first of 25 Metropolis trainsets to Kochi Metro. These trains are the first produced at the Sricity facility in India or indeed anywhere in India. Each car can accommodate around 200 passengers and will travel up to a speed of 90 kmph. The front end of each train will feature LED lights that are in the shape of elephant's tusks. The 25 trainsets will circulate on an elevated, C-shaped metro rail network that is 25.353km long from Aluva to Petta and includes 23 stations All platforms will be 70 metres (230 ft) long, and the curved nature of the network see it have 17 sharp curves along the route. As the metro will run on a viaduct, it will lighten the city at night.
Speaking on the deliver from Alstom, Elias George, managing director of KMRL said, “It is a big achievement for Kochi Metro. These metro cars are manufactured end-to-end by Alstom in India and are delivered ahead of schedule at a record time of 15 months. I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the teams from Alstom, DMRC and KMRL, who worked hard to make it happen.”
“The delivery of the first train set of Kochi metro marks another major milestone for Alstom in India. The project re-affirms our strong commitment and endorsement of the ‘make in India’ initiative of current government. Kochi metro is our second metro contract in the country after Chennai, and with the recent award of the Lucknow contract, we are well geared to serve India. We are proud to be able to contribute to the metro development of the country" added Bharat Salhotra, managing director of Alstom India.
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