MUMBAI: India’s first of its kind mono-rail service will be launched in Mumbai in a matter of days. The mass transport system consists of several air conditioned rakes that run on an elevated corridor ferrying passengers between Chembur and Wadala in the first phase and between Wadala and Jacob Circle in central Mumbai in the second phase.
When the two phases are complete, the Mumbai mono-rail will be the world’s second longest Mono Rail corridor in the world after Japan’s Osaka mono-rail corridor which is 23.8km long. Other well known monorails are the Tokyo mono rail, the Tama mono rail and the Star LRT in Malaysia.
The Mumbai corridor will have 17 stations, two less than the Osaka Mono Rail corridor which has 19 stations. The mono rail has been built by the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority and the contract to build it was awarded to the consortium of M/s L&T and M/s.Scomi from Malaysia. The total cost of the project is estimated to be Rs 2460 crore.
The Fare, The Design
On the design elements, Kanesan Veluppillai, Chief Executive Officer, Scomi Engineering said, “In terms of the interiors, each rake is designed with composite seats and grab rails for easy maintenance and protection. The well lit, light coloured interior and large tinted window panels provide maximum natural light inside the car.”
“The advantage over a Metro rail system is that mono requires a one meter wide space for the elevated track and it rests on a single pillar of height 6.5 meter. This causes least disturbance to traffic running below the elevated path. It is also less noisy, eco-friendly and easily accessible in comparison with Metro rail,” an MMDRA spokesperson said.
The coaches move on rubber tyres on concrete beams designed to create less noise and vibration during operation. The system is powered by electric motors that are silent and also control emission.
“The monorail project is anticipated to reduce over 50,000 private and public vehicles which are petro-chemically fueled thus resulting in an estimated reduction of 200 tonnes of CO2 emission a day in Mumbai,” Veluppillai added.
The challenge was the narrow corridors available to construct the mono-rail as Mumbai is a densely populated city. The slender tracks have been designed to block less sunlight thus promoting natural landscape of the city. The Mumbai train will be delivered in 4-rake formations with capability to extend to a maximum 6-rake formation in future.
So as per the plan set out by MMRDA, a monorail with four cars will have a capacity to ferry 562 passengers, while one with six cars will be able to accommodate 852 commuters, according to Veluppillai
Apart from the elevated infrastructure, the monorail has other assets. The 6.5 hectare Wadala car depot provides parking facility for commuters of 21 trains.
There is also an operation control centre, a training center and a power station, a receiving traction substation and a full-fledged administrative facility. The mono-rail will be integrated with all three lines of the Mumbai suburban railways.