Top 20 Facts About the New Kochi Metro

INDIA – Kochi, a major city in the southwestern state of Kerala and nicknamed the “Queen of the Arabian Sea” has just got a new metro with the 13.2km of Phase 1 now complete.

Alstom delivers its Metropolis cars for the Kochi Metro
© Alstom

Here are our top 20 facts about the Kochi Metro project:

  1. Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the new metro system on 17 June 2017, cutting the ribbon at Palarivattom Station before riding to Pathadippalam.
  2. It is the first metro in India to use CBTC – communications-based train control – which allows higher capacity of trains travelling on the line at any given time. The CBTC used here is the Alstom Urbalis 400 system.
  3. The Kochi metro is India’s first multimodal system: there is to be a ‘water metro’ designed to be a feeder service to the rail system. Kochi has ten islands that will be serviced by this water metro that is scheduled to be operational before 2019.
  4. The rolling stock for the project was delivered by Alstom and wholly designed (Bangalore) and made (Sri City) in India.
  5. The Alstom Metropolis trains have 136 seats.

    The interior of the Kochi Metro cars
    © Alstom
  6. Each train will consist of 3 cars and have a total length of approximately 65m.
  7. In addition to being fitted with air-conditioning and real-time passenger information systems, the trains will also have multiple USB charging ports for mobile phones – a first in India.
  8. The Kochi Metro Rail Limited is the first state-owned company to officially employ transgender individuals.
  9. Phase 1 features 11 stations; when complete the 25km metro will have 22 stations using solar panels. KMRL hope to cover 25% of the metro’s energy use with solar power.
  10. 80% of the workforce will be female.
  11. Kudumbashree, “the poverty eradication and women empowerment programme implemented by the State Poverty Eradication Mission (SPEM) of the Government of Kerala“, had more than 30,000 members take the metro exam, with 700 women shortlisted to manage the stations. KMRL MD Elias George told CNN-News18: “We are really proud of our social initiatives. This is probably the first infrastructure project which has brought in Kudumbashree. We have employed around 1,000 women from the disadvantaged sections.”
  12. The end-to-end travel time for the 13.2km will be just 23 minutes, taking less than half the time it would take to drive the same distance.
  13. The metro system runs on a viaduct.
  14. There will be free wifi available on board.
  15. The system will run on standard-gauge rails (1,435mm) and will be electrified via a third rail with a 750VDC power supply.

    The exterior of the Kochi Metro
    © Alstom
  16. Compost generated from municipal waste will be used to fertilise the vertical gardens grown on the metro’s pillars.
  17. Commercial operations will begin at 6am on Monday, 19 June 2017 with up to 219 trips scheduled that day.
  18. The foundation stone for the metro was laid on 13 September 2012.
  19. Phase 2, approved by the Kerala State Cabinet last month, will connect Jawaharlal Nehru International Stadium with Kakkanad Infopark.
  20. Phase 3 will see the metro system linking up with Cochin International Airport.

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