Woohoooo!! I managed to travel in the Chennai Metro Train whose service was inaugurated by the CM just today. That’s why you find all those flowers and garlands both outside and inside the train 🙂 Anyway, I went to CMBT (Koyambedu) to catch the Chennai Metro train at this junction. I then went to the Alandur junction (10 KM) by Metro and came back. In this post, I present some info gathered and some pics taken during this trip.
The Chennai Metro stations have both escalators and lifts for people to go up and down easily. And steps are there too 😛 These Metro stations are disabled-friendly. There is no separate bike parking now, but it is expected at the two junctions soon. At the Koyambedu junction the station is within the CMBT bus terminus. At Alandur, you can find it right opposite to the new AC bus-stand near St. Thomas Mount.
As you can see above, the ticket fairs are quite nominal: from Rs. 10 – Rs. 40. But a fellow passenger told me that Delhi Metro charges even lower for equivalent distance. Let’s see if the fairs are revised once the full circle for Chennai Metro is completed. There is an ATM for buying tickets (tokens) quickly. As you can see in the above photo, an operator is inserting cash! There is also a separate ticket counter nearby. Here’s the ticket (token) you get once you pay the money —
This place (above photo) is where you place the coin when you want to go the platform. Once you place the coin, the two planks blocking your path will automatically open. When you get down at the station and want to come out, you’ll find a similar arrangement. While going out, you need to drop the coin inside the hole and the path will open. It seems these tokens are coded with some info (that contains the name of the station) and hence only if you drop it in your destination station or before, the path will open!
Once you get to the platform, you need to wait for the train and board it once it arrives. There is a special compartment (double charge), ladies compartment, and general compartments — be careful which one you get into. The train stops only for 30 seconds in the stations, but a bit longer in the junctions. There are two tracks and two trains ply in each of them right now. The stations display the time when the next train is expected.
So this is how the insides of the train look. Since today is the first day of operation, there is abundant flower arrangement and everything looks neat 🙂 These coaches have been imported from Brazil, it seems. The seats are plastic (?!) but since the train is fully air-conditioned, it doesn’t get hot. There is a PA system (speaker) in every compartment. All the compartments are connected and one can walk from one end to another. There is a small luggage compartment on the side-top.
Frankly, the train travels quite slowly (30 Kmph being the average speed), but it was able to travel from Koyambedu to Guindy in less than 20 minutes. I hope the other phases will also be opened soon so that the Chennai Metro will be more useful to public. I will shortly upload a video I took from within the train today, here.
Here are the amateur videos taken @ Chennai Metro Rail first day run (by me):