Vivek Gadgil, CEO and Managing Director, and Anil Kumar Saini, Head of Systems, provide a detailed overview of the Hyderabad Metro Project, the largest project of its kind to be financed through a Public-Private Partnership.
Hyderabad Metro will consist of 3 lines, which will be constructed over 6 stages. The first stage of lines 1 and 3 are expected to be completed within 3 years, while the entire system should be in operation within the next 5 years.
Hyderabad Metro Rail public complany granted L&T Metro Rail the concession to construct and operate the metro system for a period of 35 years, with an option to extend the contract for a further 25 years. The total project cost will be around $US3.5 billion, with funding provided by the Government of India, L&T and a number of private investors.
Louis Berget (USA) are working on the project as independent engineers, while AECOM and Feedback Infra have been employed for engineering support by L&T Metro Rail. Eptisa provide safety consultancy services, Parsons Brinckerhoff project management, Halcrow are the independent RAMS Assessor and the project O&M Contractor is Keolis.
L&T Construction are working on the construction of viaducts, stations, deports, track and the overfield 25kV AC power supply network. Rolling Stock will be supplied by Korea’s Hyundai Rotem company; 2.9m wide 3 car units currently being proposed with larger 6 car units to be introduced in the future. An IP based telecommunications network is being installed by Thales and Samsung will provide the fair processing system, offering both contactless smartcard and token payment methods.
Thales will also be responsible for the deployment of the CBTC based CATC (ATO, ATP, ATS) signalling and train control system. Mr. Kumar Saini explained that a CBTC system was chosen, as it has reduced infrastructure costs, improved reliability, reduced maintanence costs, and it means a reduction in both capex and opex. In addition, he noted that it ensured a lower risk of obsolesence and allowed for the possibility of driverless trains in the future.
Key technical features of the Hyerabad Metro system:
1. Moving Block CBTC Technology
2. Radio Communication between Train and Way side equipment
3. Centralised Operation for all corridors
4. Driverless reversals at terminals
5. Biderectinal automatic train operation
6. Interchangeabilty of trains between three corridors
7. Axle counter based fall back system
The system has a design speed of 90kmph, an operation speed of 80kmph, an average speed of less than 30kmph and an operational headway of 90 seconds. A 97% punctuality with 1 minute criteria is projected with a dwell time of 20 seconds.
Some of the key challenges noted by the L&T management include the adoption of new technology, ensuring statutory approvals, integrating systems, and the availability and training of skilled engineers and technical experts.
In addition, the PPP model has meant that the raising of funds, control of the cost of the project and ensuring a return of investment for investors has also been a primary concern. Extensive discussions into the fare and non-fare revenue streams have taken place and careful consideration has been taken to ensure efficient operational and maintenance costs.
At present, civil construction is well underway, the design of rail systems is in an advanced stage and the planning and recruitment of maintenance and operations staff is nearing completion.
Overall, the project has focused on deploying modern, future-proof technologies, and important, innovative engineering innovations. The PPP model has, so far, proved very successful and the extensive team of engineers are working towards the completion of the first line within the next 3 years.