Experts to PMC: Adopt broad gauge for metro rail
Express News Service
A day after the Pune Municipal Corporation announced its Rs. 19,000 crore “dream plan” for easing its traffic travails, a group of senior railway officials today suggested that the civic body should go for broad gauge instead of adopting the standard gauge (SG) for the Pune metro rail.
At a press conference organized by the Professionals Party Of India, former Chief Engineer of Indian Railways Brig. P V Gole, former managing director of IRCON V K J Rane and roadways expert B P Patankar laid out the pros and cons of having a standard guage for a metro rail, as compared to a broad gauge.
“The state government had in 2006 taken a decision to adopt SG with narrow width imported coaches (3.2m) wide for the Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar elevated stand alone corridor (11.5m) based on the recommendations of MMRDA under the advice of Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), their consultant. DMRC had also recommended standard guage for Mumbai metro which was finalized and the same is proposed to be adopted for the metro railway system in Pune”, said Rane.
“It appears that the DMRC has taken a decision to recommend only SG metros with complete disregard to the technical, economic and financial issues and the merits of the two systems”, said Rane.
“While SG tracks measuring 1435 mm can carry coaches wider than 3.2 m, the BG track measuring 1676 mm, can accommodate wider coaches of 3.66 m providing improved comfort, safety and higher speed on curves. SG has been designed for 8 coaches per train with a crush capacity of 375 passengers per coach, while BG can be designed for 10-12 coaches per train and 490 passengers per coach”, he added.
The former officials claimed that adopting the BG will be more cost effective as while the imported coaches procured by DMRC for Delhi is Rs. 7.5 crore per coach, the price for Mumbai elevated corridor is at Rs. Nine crore per coach. But the air cooled coaches recently supplied by the Integral Coach Factory (ICF) for Mumbai suburban section is only Rs. 2.25 crore per coach. “, said Rane. Similarly, the SG has been designed for crush capacity upto 25 years, which means further infrastructure development after that period, while BG can be operated for the next 75-100 years, he added.