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As the first step in preparation to running full-fledged operations, Chennai Metro Rail will carry out an initial trial in the phase I extension project from Washermanpet to Wimco Nagar that covers nearly 9 km of north Chennai, in the last week of February.

According to officials of Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL), they are likely to do run a shunting loco in the underground stretch from Washermanpet to Korukkupet initially, and do an inspection of how it works. “Now, the tracks are being laid in this 9 km stretch; in the underground section, the track has already been laid but the work is still on for the elevated section. We are hoping to finish it in an another month. If it gets completed, then we may do a trial run for the whole stretch and if not, we will certainly run the shunting loco for the underground section alone. During this trial, we will know if there are any problems and what areas need correction,” an official said.

In this 9 km stretch, a small section from Washermanpet till Korukkupet alone is underground and after that, the stretch rises above the ground till Wimco Nagar. Currently, the construction of stations and installation of some systems for running of the Metro are on.

Subsequently, after the trials with the shunting loco, CMRL will run a trial with trains. This is likely to happen by April, officials said.

As Chennai Metro has been planning to open this stretch by June, the beginning of such trials is crucial and only after they are proved safe and all the hitches are corrected, can the section become operational for the public.

source: The Hindu

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