Bengaluru gears up for driverless metro trains: First arrival expected in February

Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited has conferred the first six-coach train shipment from China for the Electronics City Metro [19-km Yellow Line], which is currently on the way and would expectedly reach Chennai by mid- or end of February.

Bengaluru gears up for driverless metro trains: First arrival expected in February

In a major bid to cross the hustle, the first-ever driverless train has been shipped from China to the Silicon Valley-based- city of Bangalore. It is expected to arrive at Chennai port by mid or end of February 2024 and later would be transported to Bengaluru's Hebbagodi depot by road. 

The technology-driven facility stands by collaboration between BMRCL and Chinese company CRRC Nanjing Puzhen Co. Ltd which was tied to the contract for supplying 216 coaches in December 2019. Initially, the earlier shipments were delayed due to factors like the ongoing global pandemic, FDI policies, and trade restrictions with China, the project has been collaborated with Kolkata-based Titagarh Rail. CRRC has partnered with Titagarh Rail to fulfil the 75% local production requirement under the Make in India Initiative.

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The remaining 204 coaches will be manufactured by Titagarh Rail Systems in India. According to Titagarh, all 216 coaches for the BMRCL will be delivered by March 2025. The body shells of two other trains from China reached Titagarh's manufacturing facility in November 2023.

This is also the first time BMRCL is deploying a CBTC signalling system commonly known as driverless technology. CBTC could reduce the train headway to less than 90 seconds. Despite the capability to operate driverless trains on the Yellow Line, BMRCL however, decided to continue deploying loco pilots.

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The Yellow Line, connecting South Bengaluru and Electronics City, is an important corridor for the region facilitating major IT hubs and corporate sectors. While BMRCL has reported that 99% of the civil work for the Yellow Line has been completed to enhance the timely induction for operational commencement.

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