For the first time since monorail construction started four years ago, the city’s development authority conducted an end-to-end test run of the rakes on the entire 8.3-km alignment from Wadala to Chembur. The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) plans to hand over the corridor for safety certification by February-end.
MMRDA has finished the civil work related to the alignment and is now focusing on completing the stations as well as work on signaling and telecommunications. “This will take another two or three months. The trial was to test the smoothness of the alignment, which was found to be fine, and fix technical issues,” said Ashwini Bhide, additional metropolitan commissioner.
As part of the test run, MMRDA first sent a shuttle down the alignment, followed by the full rakes. The MMRDA ran the rakes at speeds up to 80 kmph, the maximum at which the monorail can run. Empty rakes were also loaded with cement sacks to see if the guideway beams, on which the rakes run, can take the weight.
MMRDA had earlier planned on handing over the corridor, which will be the first monorail in the country, for a safety audit by November and open the line by December. However, there were issues over securing land for the link-ways to the stations and the construction of some stations such as V N Purav Marg and Mysore Colony was slower than expected.
The Chembur-Wadala monorail will be the first phase of the 20-km Chembur-Wadala-Jacob Circle corridor, which will be the second-longest monorail in the world after the one in Osaka, Japan. The original deadline for the project, costing Rs 2,460 crore excluding taxes, was April 2011.