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Sneak a peek of the monorail

Mumbaikars finally got a look at the ambitious MMRDA project during a two-kilometre test run on Saturday

A two-kilometre test run of the ambitious monorail project of Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) was successfully conducted between Wadala Depot and Bhakti Park on Saturday morning.



At around 10.15 am the four-car green colour monorail emerged from the car depot and the test run was conducted in the presence of Kanesan Velupillai, country head Scomi (India), which is constructing India's first monorail corridor between Jacob Circle -- Wadala and Chembur.

As news of the monorail test run spread, curious onlookers gathered at Wadala to catch a glimpse. Soon after the monorail reached the Sewri-Chembur road, passersby and motorists stopped in their tracks to take pictures.

The test run was over within 15 minutes. Since it was a trial run, the system was running at a slow pace. According to an official working on the project, "The reason behind conducting the test run was to see if the electrification work has been completed properly."

The work on the Traction Sub-Stations at Wadala and Mysore Colony and Auxiliary Sub-Stations at Wadala, Bhakti Park and Mysore Colony is complete. MMRDA has finished installing guideway beams and conductor rails between Wadala and Mysore Colony stations.

The pre-commissioning tests are  over for cables and equipment. The conductor rails fitted on the monorail concrete guideway beams at about 5.5 metres height between Wadala Depot and Mysore Colony stations - a 4.5 km stretch will be energised with 750V DC and a notification to public has been issued accordingly.

The ensuing tests are part of Phase-I of the project. There will be seven stations in Phase-I of the nine-km Mono Rail corridor - Chembur, VN Purav Marg, Fertiliser Colony, Bharat Petroleum, Mysore Colony, Bhakti Park and Wadala Depot.

The construction up to the concourse levels of all stations has been completed while work on platforms is still in progress on most stations. Earlier MMRDA had conducted the first trial run of the monorail in 2010 but it was only on a small 200-metre stretch.

The good, the bad and the ugly of the monorail:
Advantages
Reduced traffic: Nearly 28,000 taxis and autorickshaws and 25,000 private cars will be reduced.
Reduced travel time:  MMRDA says the 40-minute commute will be reduced to 21 minutes
Less crowded: The capacity of the four cars is 8,000 to 12,000 per hour per direction (PHPD).
Reduced pollution: The monorail produces less noise and is eco-friendly.

Disadvantages
LESS CAPACITY: The capacity of the monorail is very less compared to the metro rail and suburban local trains.
LESS SPEED: Trains and metro rail travel faster than the monorail.

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