Metro depot coming up at Wimco Nagar
CHENNAI: In three years, when metro trains connect localities of north Chennai with the rest of the city, engineers at a modern maintenance depot in Wimco Nagar will ensure the gleaming metal trains will be maintained and kept spic and span. This will help CMRL ensure frequency and hygiene.
The depot to be built near the Wimco Nagar railway station will be one-tenth those built by Indian Railways, but will have cutting-edge technology for regular upkeep of trains.
It will be built as part of the 9km phase-1 extension from Washermenpet to Wimco Nagar. The line will run underground from Washermenpet to Theagaraya College, while the stretch to Wimco Nagar is elevated.
The Wimco Nagar depot will have 17 railway lines to bring trains to the stabling shed at the end of the day. It will be used for parking and a few other work, including daily cleaning of coaches.
Metro rail officials said the stabling shed planned at Wimco Nagar would be similar to the existing one at Koyambedu. "The Wimco Nagar depot will only deal with low maintenance work on trains. Heavy maintenance will be done only at the Koyambedu depot," said an official.
The depot at Koyambedu accommodates the 10 fourcar trains that, at present, are running on the elevated corridors. A team of engineers regularly conducts maintenance work on these trains to ensure uninterrupted service during the day .
When the entire 45km phase-1 becomes operational, CMRL will run as many as 40 four-car trains across the city. One depot may not be enough for inspection and maintenance of the fleet, it was determined. The Wimco Nagar depot was planned along with the phase-1 extension project from Washermenpet to Wimco Nagar.
At present, the air-conditioned metro trains undergo a three-stage service maintenance once in three days.
A team of engineers will inspect the outer body of the trains. Engineers walk along a mini-bridge that will run alongside pit lines for an external inspection. After this a detailed inspection of critical systems in the train, including braking, traction and the high-voltage systems, will be carried out.Once they are checked and certified, the train chugs into an automatic train wash plant.
A sensor at the entrance of the plant will detect the approaching train and send signals to the place where another device will come to life and start the wash cycle.
Metro rail engineers will also conduct quarterly, half-yearly and annual maintenance programmes besides an overhauling of each train once in four years.