“Hyderabad Metro would be first in India to claim train control by CBTC technology”

V B Gadgil,
Chief Executive & Managing Director, L&T Metro Rail (Hyderabad)

Share with us your vision for the Hyderabad Metro Rail Project. What are your expectations in terms of peak hour traffic load and de-congestion that will happen due to this project?
At L&T Metro Rail (Hyderabad) Limited, we aspire to transform the lives of the people of Hyderabad through best-in-class mobility, connecting and creating vibrant urban spaces. Currently, over 3 million personalized vehicles ply on Hyderabad roads, with an addition of 0.20 million vehicles every year. 8 million motorized trips are made every day, of which, only about 3.2 million or 40 percent are made by the Public Transportation System (PTS) i.e. buses and local trains. That means personal vehicles lead to traffic bottlenecks, high pollution levels and a steep increase in fuel consumption make the rest of the trips Peak Hour Peak Direction Traffic (PHPDT). The system is designed to cater to 50,000 PHPDT for Corridors I and III and 35,000 PHPDT for Corridor II. With a frequency of 3 to 5 minutes during peak hours, the system is expected to carry about 17 lakh passengers per day by 2017 and 22 lakh by 2024.

What are the new technologies and control equipments that will drive efficiency, increasing turnaround time and project performance in metro rail projects across cities in India?
New technologies and equipments have helped us include efficiencies and performance in our project. The trains will use Regenerative Electric Braking, thereby converting the momentum into electrical energy and feeding back to power supply system while braking. As a contribution towards the CDM this will reduce the energy requirement from the grid. We have also installed the advanced signaling & train control technology, communication based train control (CBTC) for Hyderabad Metro to control the trains. Hyderabad Metro would be first in India to claim train control by CBTC technology.
Hyderabad Metro Rail Project is using ‘Track Master’ – a unique instrument for checking the parameters of track and to enhance the quality of track installation. This instrument is being used in India for the second time after Chennai; L&T is the first to introduce this technology in India, both in Chennai and Hyderabad. We have also introduced simulation study based track design. This type of designing the track is being adopted for the first time in the country. In this process, prior to the track design, the probable speed of train in a particular stretch is determined by carrying out a simulation study. Based on this data the track is accordingly designed only for that particular speed in that particular stretch. This avoids designing the track for much higher speeds than required.The process has the following advantages – better ride and comfort to the passengers. It reduces the rail and wheel wear, reduces loading on the viaduct and increases the productivity in track installation.

Tell us more about the key challenges hindering speedy implementation of the project?
The major engineering challenges were alignment fixation in highly urbanized areas, technology selection between modern/latest versus proven, long bridges and spans on junctions and railway crossings and lastly Reliability, Availability, Maintainability and Safety (RAMS). Some others include interface management between various systems such as rolling stock, signaling, track & traction etc and civil works. Adaptation or modifications to designs to suit unknown utilities and other obstructions is also a challenge apart from lack of availability of technically trained manpower.

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