Metros, Urban & Suburban Systems

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Note: This document only covers some of the bigger cities in India. Metro and suburban systems exist in many other smaller cities as well.

Mumbai (Bombay)

EMU services started in Bombay on 3 February 1925 between Victoria Terminus (Chatrapathi Sivaji Maharaj Terminus) and Kurla on 1.5 KV DC traction. Churchgate to Borivali services on the western line started on 5 January 1928. Bombay suburban services are run by Central railway (CR) and Western railway (WR) now. As of 2017, 2342 services are run everyday, carrying 7.5 million passengers. CR services connect the eastern suburbs to the city, whereas WR services connect the northern suburbs to the city. Supply has not kept pace with the demand, however, as the number of passengers grew about 2.5 times as fast as the capacity of the system through the 1980s and 1990s. Despite the addition of other mass transport systems (metro, monorail etc.), suburban trains are extremely crowded and have high crush loads.

See the section on EMUs for details of EMU rake formations, EMU history, numbering, etc. on the Mumbai suburban network.

IR Suburban Network

Central Line

The Central Line starts from CSMT. There are four tracks upto Kalyan (54km). In addition, there are two more lines between Kurla and Thane (18km).

The Central Line has two interchange stations with the Western Line at Parel and Dadar, and with the Harbour Line at Masjid, Sandhurst Road and Kurla. Car sheds are located at Kalwa and Kurla. There are slow services and fast services. Slow locals halt at every station, while fast locals halts vary between Byculla, Dadar, Kurla, Ghatkopar, Vikhroli, Bhandup, Mulund, Thane, Diva, Dombivli and Kalyan. All services plying beyond Kalyan run as slow service thereafter (halting at every station).

Western Line

The Western Line starts at Churchgate and services run up to Dahanu, though a vast majority do so only upto Virar (60km). The section between Churchgate and Virar is quadrupled. Carsheds are located at Kandivali, Virar and Mumbai Central. Major terminus stations in this section are Virar and Borivali. This line was fully converted to AC traction in 2012.

Harbour Line

This line starts from CSMT and runs nearly parallel to the Central Line until Wadala Road where it branches. One line goes west and terminates at Goregaon. The eastward line goes further to Navi Mumbai and terminates at Panvel. The line originally ran up to Mankhurd. After the development of Navi Mumbai, the line was extended in the 1990s. A bridge across Thane Creek was constructed to reach the new city. The car shed is located at Sanpada. Last of the DC services in the entire Mumbai suburban network ran on the Harbour Line from Kurla to CSMT on 9th April 2016.

Trans Harbour Line

The Trans Harbour Line was conceived as a connection to Navi Mumbai from the north-eastern suburbs. This freight only line that was serving JNPT Port was put to use, with services starting in 2004. The termini are Thane and Panvel.

Nerul Uran Line

The Nerul Uran Line starts at Nerul and travels southwards to Uran. This line was completed in 2018. This line is 27Km long and has 10 stations.

Mumbai Monorail

Mumbai Monorail is designed to support the existing suburban system. At present (12/2021), there is a single 20km line from Chembur to Jacob Circle and consists of 7 stations. The maintenance depot is located at Wadala. Rolling stock are the Malaysia built SCOMI monorail trains. The monorail has been plagued with ridership issues with actual numbers far below projections. There have also been issues with maintenance and lack of spare parts. This led to to the service being stopped for a while in 2019.

Mumbai Metro

The Mumbai Metro was envisaged to share the Mumbai’s commuting traffic with IR’s suburban system. After years of planning, construction started in 2007, but just one line is operational. The system has been plagued with land acquisition issues, cost escalations and political interference.


Blue Line

Currently, this is the only line that’s operational. It runs between Andheri and Ghatkopar for 11.40km and runs in the East-West direction. The line was put into service on 8 June 2014, with 12 stations. The line is operated by a special purpose vehicle, Mumbai Metro One Private Limited. This is a joint venture between the MMRDA, Reliance infrastructure, RAPD Dev and Transdev Asia. The line is entirely elevated.

Under Construction

As many as 9 lines are under various stages of construction.

Yellow Line

This runs from Dahisar to Mandule for a distance of about 42km with 30 stations. Construction of the first section (2A) is under progress as of 2020. This stretch is about 19km and runs from Dahisar to D.N. Road with 17 stations. The entire line is completely elevated. The rolling stock tender was awarded to BEML and the depot is to be situated at Mandale.

Aqua Line

This line is executed by a separate agency Mumbai Metro Rail corporation (MMRC). It is under construction from Cuffe Parade to SEEPZ for a total length of 33.5km with 27 stations. This is a major north south line, running parallel to existing suburban lines and expected to handle a lot of passengers. The line is completely underground except the final stretch to Aarey Milk Colony where the depot was to be located. Construction is underway as of late 2020 except the depot at Aarey due to litigation. This line is also primarily financed by low interest loans from JICA, with support from state and union governments. The rolling stock contract was awarded to ALSTOM. This section will to run on 25 kV AC traction.

Green Line

This line is an amalgamation of lines 4, 4A, 10 and 11. It runs for around 57km from Shivaji Chowk to CSMT and traverses via Gaimukh – Kasarawadavali – Wadala. The line has both elevated and underground stretches. The stretch between Kasaravadavali to Wadala (line 4) is under progress now. Multiple depots planned at Vikhroli, Wadala, Mogharpada. This section is supposed to run at 25 kV AC traction. MMRDA is executing this line.

Orange Line

The Orange Line is the amalgamation of line 5 (Thane- Kalyan) and line 12 (Kalyan- Tojala) and stretches for 45.65 Km. There are totally 34 stations. As of 2020, only a 12km section of line 5 (Kapurbawadi – Dhamankar Naka) was contracted out for construction.

Pink Line

This line is supposed to run from Lokhandwala - Vikhroli for a distance of about 15km with 13 stations. MMRDA executes this line. This line will also operate under 25 KV AC. Only preliminary works have been done as of late 2020.

Red Line

This line is supposed to run from Dahisar East to Andheri for about 17km. There are plans to extend this line further to the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (CSIA). It will contain 23 stations in total. This includes the Dahisar East - Mira Bhayandar extension of about 11km on the northern side. It will also run under 25 kV AC traction. The rolling stock will be supplied by BEML.


In addition to the above mentioned lines, there are further lines under proposal. These are a combination of extension of under construction lines and new lines. These are the:

  1. Gold Line connecting proposed Navi Mumbai International Airport (NMIA) and Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (CSIA). This is supposed to be an express line, like the Delhi Airport Metro Express.
  2. Purple Line between Virar and Shivaji Chowk for 23km and 20 stations.
  3. Magenta Line between Vikhroli and Badlapur for 45km and 40 stations.

Navi Mumbai Metro

Navi Mumbai metro is a separate entity which is owned and operated by City and Industrial Development Corporation of Maharashtra (CIDCO). The master plan for Navi Mumbai metro contained 3 lines of over 100km. The project received approval from the Maharashtra state government in 2010 and construction of line 1 started in October 2011. Progress has been slow, with multiple deadlines not being met.

As of 2020, Navi Mumbai metro has no operational stretches. The 11km line under construction connects Belapur with Pendhar. The line uses 25kV AC OHE and rolling stock is supplied by CRRC Zhuzhou. It is unclear whether CIDCO is in a position to execute further lines specified in the masterplan or some other agency like MMRA will be roped in.

Kolkata (Calcutta)

Kolkata Metro

Line 1

The Kolkata Metro runs on BG, and traction is via a third rail, using 750V DC. The whole rake is vestibuled. Rolling stock is from ICF, Madras (with original electricals from NGEF, Bangalore) and CRRC Dalian. The rolling stock is unique in that they are the only ones in India with end-mounted cab doors (excepting some of the WAG-6 and the YCG-1 series locos!). The metro uses a ballastless track.

Line 1 runs from Kavi Subash in the south to Dakshineshwar in the north, about 31km with 26 stations. Most stations are underground, with the newer ones added during extenions elevated. To replace some of the old coaches, an international tender was issue and CRRC Dalian was selected to supply rakes. These rakes started arriving in 2019.

Construction began in 1972 for the initial stretch and finished in 1995. Services to Bhowanipore from Esplanade were introduced on Oct. 24, 1984 and end-to-end through service started on Sep. 27, 1995, with 16 of the intermediate stations operational. The last, Mahatma Gandhi Road, was commissioned on Feb. 11, 1996.

Construction work started in May 1999 to extend the line beyond Tollygunge to the New Garia station via Kudghat, Naktala, Garia Bazar, and Pranabnagar. Tollygunge - Garia Bazaar was finished by September 2010. Another extension from Dumdum to Noapara was opened on Jul. 10, 2013. Another extension from Naopra to Dakshnieswar was approved with the line becoming operational on Feb. 22, 2021.

About 300 services are operated currently, carrying over 700,000 passengers. On Mar. 10, 2019, over 900000 lakh passengers used the system. The trains run at intervals of about 5 minutes during peak hours and 15 minutes otherwise.

Remaining Lines

Kolkata Metro Rail Corporation (KMRC) was formed in 2008 to expand the network. This was a joint venture between the Ministry of Urban Affairs and the State Government of West Bengal. In 2012, the Government of West Bengal pulled out of the entity, making it fully owned by the Union Government, with the Ministry of Railways taking over as the majority owner. Five more lines were proposed.

Line 2

Line 2 runs east-west for a total length of 16km connecting Teghoria with Howrah. The line will also connect Howrah and Sealdah stations. A tunnel under the Hooghly river is also being constructed for this project. On Feb. 13, 2020, a 5km elevated stretch between Salt Lake Sector 5 and Salt Lake Stadium was opened. This line was planned in 2010, but progress has been slow due to land acquisition issues. The complete line is expected to be open by the end of 2022. As with the rest of the network, the line uses 750V DC systems. Rolling stock is supplied by BEML.

In October 2019, a Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) hit an aquifer in the Bowbazar area, causing structural damage to many buildings. A court order halted tunneling after this incident.

Line 3

This is a 16km line from Diamond Park to Esplanade. The stretch from Joka to Majerhat is under construction. The depot for this line is at Joka.

Line 4

This line is from Noapara from Barasat via Dumdum for a total length of 16km. However, due to objections from the AAI (Airports Authority of India) and issues due to land acquisition beyond Barrackpore, only the Noapara - Dum Dum section is under construction.

Line 5

This line is planned from Barrackpore to Baranagar (13km). The initial line was via Barrackpore Trunk Road, but was later realigned via Kalyani Trunk Road due to objections from the state government. Construction has not started.

Line 6

Line 6 is from Biman Bandar to New Garia for a distance of 30km. This line too faces objections from the AAI and has issues with land acquisition. Progress has been slow and construction is being planned for only a small 3km stretch.

Kolkata Suburban System

The suburban system is operated by two zones ER and SER with a track length of over 1000km. This makes it the largest suburban system in the country. Some services are very long at over 100 km. Services started on May 1, 1968. Initial trains were locomotive hauled (both diesel and electric). With progression in electrified territories, EMUs began to be operated.

South Eastern Section

The south eastern line is operated by SER, mainly out of Howrah. The main line is Howrah - Midnapore via Kharagpur. There are also services to Haldia, Amta and Digha. There are three tracks up to Panskura with two tracks beyond that. The Amta branch line is a single line section. There are cars heds at Tikiapara and Panskura to serve these lines. All services in this sector are 12 car rakes.

Eastern Section

The eastern section is operated by ER. It operates out of both Howrah and Sealdah. The eastern section can be broadly divided into two.

Services operating out of Howrah mainly travel in a NNW direction on the trunk line (and branches) to Delhi. Both the Chord and Main lines are used up to Barddhaman. Major termini are Barddhaman, Katwa, Belur Math and Bandel. This services are supported by car sheds at Howrah and Bandel.

Services operating out of Sealdah operate along the NNE route all the way up to the Bangladesh border. Termini are Gede, Naihati, Krishnanagar, Kalyani, Bangoan and Hasnabad. Gede is situated on India - Bangladesh border. Services also run between Naihati and Bandel via the Hooghly Ghat. Cars heds are located at Narkeldanga, Barasat and Ranaghat. Both 9 and 12-car services are run.

Circular Railway

The Circular Railway runs east of the Hooghly river and serves a major chunk of the city of Kolkata. The terminating point on the line is Dum Dum Junction. It runs for about 35km and connects the Kolkata terminal, Burrabazaar, B.B.D Bag, Eden Gardens, Majerhat, Tollygunge etc. and covers a lot of Kolkata’s historical and iconic neighbourhoods. Services on the line started in 1984, with trains led by WDS-4 locomotives. The line was eventually completely electrified by 2001 and sees EMU services.

Sealdah South Section

The Sealdah South Section connects various districts south of Kolkata that abut the Sunderbans. Services operate from Sealdah South Terminal, previously known as Beliaghata and is aligned east-west adjacent to the main Sealdah Terminal. The termini on the other end are Canning, Budge Budge, Diamond Harbour and Namkhana. Most of these sections were built in the late 19th and early 20th century. The Namkhana section was an extension, opened up to Kakdwip in 2001 and Namkhana in 2006.

The Calcutta Tramways

This is the only surviving system of urban tramways in India now, though most lines and sections have been steadily closed down over the years.

The system runs on standard gauge, an oddity in India. The first horse-drawn trams ran in 1873, from Sealdah to Armenian Ghat Street (3.8km). The system was introduced on Feb. 24 and closed on Nov. 20 for lack of sufficient patronage. In 1880 horse-drawn trams were introduced again between the same endpoints, going through Bowbazar Street, Dalhousie Square, Customs House, and Strand Road, with a meter-gauge track. Steam trams were introduced in 1882, and electric traction was introduced in 1899, with the entire system being converted to electric traction by 1905. The conversion from meter gauge to standard gauge also occurred at this time.

The Calcutta Tramway Co. (CTC), originally incorporated in England in 1880, is now owned by the West Bengal government. The CTC merged with West Bengal Transport Corporation (WBTC) in 2016. Now the trams are operated by WBTC. In its heyday the system carried 0.75 million passengers a day with about 275 trams on average on the road at any time. By 2005, it carried about 0.15 million passengers with about 170 tramcars on the road at any time. The total fleet strength was 319 by 2004 with 239 of these being fully operational (12/2004).

Current services include only 8 routes and 40 trams. The network was larger in the past. There were three waves of closures that shrank the system: The Howrah system of three lines was closed over a period from 1970 to 1973; the Nimtollah (Nimtala) Ghat branch was decommissioned in 1973, and in the 1990s the High Court line and the Howrah Bridge - Howrah Station line were closed. Some construction work has also occurred; the Behala line on the Diamond Harbour road was extended to Joka (15km) in 1986, and a new line from Maniktala to Ultadanga was built in 1985 (this was originally supposed to go to the airport). In 1992, the CTC introduced bus services to augment its tram services. Further closures occurred in 2012.

After East-West metro construction works started in 2017, all routes touching B.B.D Bag were cancelled. It is unclear if these routes will operate again after metro works are over. Belgachia tram depot also has been shut down for an indefinite time. This has affected Maniktala Junction - Shyambazar Junction - Belgachia and Shyambazar Tram Depot - Shyambazar Junction stretches. Due to the Majerhat Bridge collapse, the Watgunge Junction to Kalighat/Rashbehari Junction stretch has also been closed since 2018. As a result of this bridge collapse, tram services have also been suspended on the Sealdah flyover and Belgachia bridge, which means these routes have also been closed.

Calcutta trams are articulated with two cars each with passenger seating, and one driver's cab. The trams are 2.1m wide and 17.5m long. The weight of a tram is 20t-22t (empty). Each car seats 62 and carries 200 at full load. CTC operates 7 depots for the trams; 11 termini located in North Calcutta, South Calcutta, and Central Calcutta also help to store trams.

Traction supply is at 550V DC, supplied by an overhead catenary system. The catenary is at a negative potential. The return current is carried by underground return conductors at a positive potential. Traction power is provided by 12 power substations which rectify 6kV AC (stepped down from the regional grid) to 550V DC using 1MW or 2MW rectifier banks.

Pictures of Calcutta Trains in the IRFCA Photo Gallery.

Chennai (Madras)

Suburban System

In 1931, the first electrically operated service was launched between Madras Beach and Tambaram, the only such MG system in India. Eventually, BG suburban services operated out of Madras Central (now Chennai Central) on the northern (to Gummidipoondi) and western (to Arakkonam) lines. These services shifted to the Moore Market Complex in 1985, exclusively built for this purpose.

These days trains operate from both the Moore Market Complex (MMC) and Chennai Beach. Both the northern and western lines are served by an EMU car shed located at Annanur near Avadi.

On the western line, major stations are Avadi, Tiruvallur, Arakkonam. Services also ply to Kadambattur, Tiruttani and Pattabiram Military Siding. Most northern section services terminate at Gummidipoondi. There are also MEMUs further north to Sullurpeta and Nellore.

The Madras Beach - Tambaram section was a metre gauge service and remained the only section where MG EMUs ran. Services were gradually expanded to Chengalpattu and Kanchipuram (later only saw conventional passengers in the MG days). The electrified line started as 1.5kV DC. This was converted to 25kV AC in 1967. BG conversion happened in 2004.

In 2010, all EMUs running in this section were 12-car. By 2019, the last missing link connecting Arakkonam was electrified enabling a circular route via Beach - Tambaram - Chengalpet - Kanchipuram - Arakkonam - Tiruvallur - Beach. The EMU car shed for this line is at Tambaram. The terminal at the north end for all trains is Chennai Beach. At the other end trains terminate at Tambaram, Chengalpet, Kanchipuram and Arakkonam.


The Madras Rapid Transit System (MRTS) is a partially elevated double track suburban railway in Chennai (Madras) serving the eastern most areas of the city. It starts at Chennai Beach and follows the Buckingham Canal from Chepauk to Thiruvanmiyur and then swinging westwards to Velachery. An extension to St. Thomas Mount is under construction.

The MRTS line is at grade at Park Town, Fort, and Beach stations, and elevated after that (Chintadripet, Chepauk, Tiruvalikeni, Light House,Thirumayilai, Mandaveli, Greenways Road, Kotturpuram, Kasturibai Nagar, Indira Nagar, Thiruvanmiyur, Taramani I, Perungudi). The terminus, Velachery is at grade.

The extension to St. Thomas Mount has two stations, Puzudhivakkam and Adambakkam. Construction of the final 300 metres of track has been held up by litigation and it is unclear when it will be resolved. IR plans to run services to Adambakkam. The car shed for this line is at Velachery.

The MRTS also sees some long distance services between Velachery - Arakkonam and Velachery - Gummidipoondi, with Chennai Beach as the split point. There have been talks ongoing between the Southern Railways and Chennai Metro Rail (CMRL) to let CMRL take over the operations of MRTS. As of 2020, talks have remained inconclusive.

Chennai Metro

After the success of Delhi metro, similar systems were planned in other cities. As a part of this, Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) prepared the detailed project report. The Tamil Nadu Government approved the project on Nov. 7, 2007 with the Union Government following in early 2009. Construction of the first stretch began in June 2009, between Koyambedu and Alandur over a distance of 10 kilometres.

Under Phase 1 of the project, two corridors were planned. The Blue Line from Washermanpet to the Chennai International Airport via Anna Salai (Mount Road) and the Green Line from Chennai Central to St. Thomas Mount via the Poonamallee High Road and the Inner Ring Road. The portion that runs on the Inner Ring Road was originally part of an MRTS expansion, but was taken over by the CMRL.

On Feb, 14, 2021, an extension of the Blue Line northwards to Wimco Nagar was commissioned.

Rolling stock is supplied by Alstom, with initial units being imported from Australia. Subsequent supply has come from a plant setup in Sri City, Andhra Pradesh. Operations and maintenance are carried out at the depot in Koyambedu.

CMRL has plans to expand the network, but construction or preliminary inspections have not happened.


Delhi Metro

Delhi Metro is one of the largest systems in the world, with almost 350 km of routes along its 10 lines, and carrying 4.5 million passengers a day.

The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) is the body in charge of the construction and operations of the metro system for New Delhi. The project is a joint venture of the Government of India (Ministry of Urban Affairs) and the Delhi Government. Due to its extensive experience in metros, DMRC has acted as a consultant for the metro projects of many other cities. DMRC itself was assisted by Hong Kong MTR during the initial stage.

Phase 1

Phase 1, with 3 lines totalling 65km was formally approved in 1996. Construction started on 01/10/1998. There were three lines planned: Red Line from Shahdara from Rithala for about 20km, Yellow Line from Vishwa Vidyalaya to Central Secretariat for about 11 Km and Blue Line from Dwarka to NOIDA Electronic City for about 33km. The first stretch in the Red Line became operational on 25/12/2002. Further stretches opened in stages and the complete system was operational by 11/11/2006. The project was funded Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

Phase 2

Phase 2 was much bigger, at nearly 125km. It included extensions and spurs of existing lines and new lines. The Red Line was extended from Shahdara to Dilshad Garden (3km), Yellow Line from Vishwavidyalaya to Jahangirpuri (6km) on one end and Central secretariat to HUDA City Centre (in Gurgaon, 27km) on the other end. The Blue Line was extended from Indraprastha to Dwarka Sector 21 for about 2 km.

The new ones were Green Line (18km from Inderlok to Kirti Nagar) , Violet Line (18km from Central Secretariat to Badarpur) and an Airport Express Line (from New Delhi station to Dwarka Sector 21). This line connected the airport to New Delhi station and was built to let trains operate at higher speed at 105 Km/hr. The project was supposed to be executed in a PPP mode, with DMRC entering into a partnership with a Reliance Infra - CAF consortium. However, the line missed various deadlines. Various quality issues were also found and operations were stopped from 7 July 2012 to 22 January 2013. The private partner pulled out of the project and DMRC took over operations.

Phase 3

Phase 3 started construction in 2011. There were totally 165km of lines planned, with 3 completely new lines (Pink, Magenta and Grey). New sections were added over the years, and as of 2020, there are still some sections under construction. The existing lines were also extended as a part of this project. Whereas the existing lines criss-crossed the city, the Pink and Magenta lines added were designed in a circular direction with a greater number of interchange points with other lines. This helped to serve previously unconnected parts of the city. Phase 3 also used CBTC for the first time, a departure from automatic signalling used in phase 1 and 2. The first of these sections opened 10/11/2015 with the most recent stretch opened on 04/10/2019. A Magenta Line stretch opened on 25/12/2017, between Botanical Garden and Kalkaji Mandir, became the first metro operated with driverless trains in India.

Phase 4

Delhi government first proposed a 103km phase 4 plan in 2015. It had three new lines and extensions of existing lines. However, only 3 lines totalling 61 km was approved by the Union Government in 2019. This includes a new line between Tughlakabad to Aerocity for about 20 km and extension of the Pink and Magenta lines. These lines are currently under construction. Funding has not been secured for about 50 km of these lines.


There are 229 operating stations. 24 stations act as interchanges for multiple lines and if counted twice, the total stations will be 253. Only 6 stations are at grade out of 253. 69 stations are underground and the rest are elevated.

Rolling Stock & Depots

Delhi metro has 15 operational depots. 6 depots maintain broad gauge rolling stock. 1 depot in Dwarka Sector 21 maintains high speed Airport Express line cars made by CAF. Remaining depots maintain standard gauge and broad gauge cars.

The rolling stock for phase 1 project was supplied by Hyundai Rotem. These broad gauge coaches were initially built in South Korea. Production later moved to the BEML facility in Bangalore. For phase 2, broad gauge coaches were supplied by Bombardier, initially from its plants in Europe and later from its plant in Savli near Vadodara. All standard gauge coaches were supplied by BEML for further phases except the Orange Line (Airport Express).

The American company LORAM has supplied some tamping machines (for surface level lines), track monitoring machines and grinding machines. These are supplemented by BEML and Plasser made OHE inspection vehicles.

Delhi Suburban and Ring Rail

The Delhi area has had extensive suburban services including commuter shuttles with EMUs and MEMUs to nearby smaller cities and satellite towns for a long time. Services run to Ghaziabad, Palwal, Sonepat etc.

A Ring Railway route has been in operation since the early 1980s. Run by NR, it provides clockwise and anticlockwise services on a roughly circular route around the core parts of the city, going through Hazrat Nizamuddin station. Howerever, due to inadequate facilities, lack of interchange facilities to the Delhi Metro and DTC buses, low ridership, and stations that are kilometers away from the main roads have forced NR to cut down on services. As of now, only 12 suburban services run on this section. The ridership has been very low, under 4000 passengers per day.

Bengaluru (Bangalore)

Suburban System

A commuter rail system for Bangalore (using IR tracks, dedicated light rail, metro etc.) have been discussed over the years since the 1980s. The first such was an elevated light rail system proposed in the early 1990s for 96km of route with 87 stations. The project got off to a start in 1996, but was abandoned soon after for lack of partnerships. It was again revived in the mid 2010s with final approval with budgetary allocations done in 2019. The project will be executed in a PPP mode, with the Union and State governments sharing 20% each, with the rest of the funding coming from external agencies.

Karnataka Rail Infrastructure Development Enterprises (K- RIDE), an SPV between the Government of Karnataka and the Ministry of Railways, first created in 2000, is proposed to execute the project. After many changes, the final 148km network approved has the following 4 corridors:

  • KSR Bengaluru-Devanahalli (via Yeshwantpur)
  • Byappanahalli-Chikkabanavara (via Banaswadi, Yesvantpur)
  • Kengeri-Whitefield (via KSR Bengaluru, Byappanahalli)
  • Heelalige-Rajanakunte (via Byappanahalli, Yelahanka)

The system will use existing IR tracks, with the section between Bangalore Cantonment and Whitefield being quadrupled. K-RIDE has also proposed the new system to be similar to metro systems rather than existing suburban systems in other cities. The proposed suburban system will have automated fare collection (AFC), 6-car air-conditioned trains, platform screen doors etc. The frequency is proposed to be 4-6 services per hour, since there are no exclusive tracks. Two depots were proposed at Devanahalli and Jnanabarathi, though only the former is now being built (12/2021).

Bangalore Metro

Phase 1

A proposal for a metro with two lines (one roughly north-south, the other east-west) intersecting at the Bangalore City railway station was designed by DMRC in 2003. This plan was approved by the Union government on 25/4/2006. Construction started in 2007. The first section opened on 20/11/2011 and the project was completed in 2017.

There are two lines: a Purple Line (running east-west for about 18 km) and a Green Line (running north-south for about 24 km). Both of these lines intersect at Kempegowda Station (Majestic), opposite IR’s Bangalore City station, forming one of the largest underground stations in the country.

Trains are operated using 750V DC power supplied via a third rail. The rolling stock is from BEML. The maintenance depot for the Purple Line is at Baiyyappanahalli while the depot for the Green Line is located at Peenya.

Phase 2

Planning for Phase 2 started while construction of Phase 1 was still underway. 72 km of lines are to be added to the network, with two new lines and extensions of the existing lines. The following are the new sections covered in Phase 2.

  • Purple Line Extension: Mysore Road to Challagatta (9km)
  • Purple Line Extension: Baiyyappanahalli-Whitefield (15km)
  • Green Line Extension: Yelachenahalli-Anjanapura (6km)
  • Green Line Extension: Nagasandra - BEIC (3km)
  • Pink Line: Gottigere - Nagawara (23km)
  • Yellow Line: RV Road-Bommasandra (19km)

Of these, a bit of the Purple Line extension from Mysore Road to Kengeri and the Green Line extension from Yelachenahalli-Anjanapura are operational. Rest are under various stages of construction and are expected to be operational between late 2022 and 2025.

The new lines will also use a 750V DC third line for power. BEML will the major supplier of rolling stock for these lines, with CRRC Puzhen also contracted to provide stock for the Yellow Line. New depots are planned at Whitefield, Challagatta (Purple Line), Anjanapura (Green Line), Hebbagodi (Yellow Line), Kothanur (Pink Line).

Phase 2A

A new line connecting KR Puram and Silk Board (Blue Line) for a length of 18km was initially part of Phase 3. This line was expedited and is now part of Phase 2A. Construction has begun (12/2021). This line is also expected to be extended from KR Puram to the Kemegowda International Airport.

Hyderabad - Secunderabad

Hyderabad MMTS or 'Multimodal Mass Transit System' is a transit system operated by South Central Railways in the city and suburbs of Hyderabad. Work on this started in 2000 with the construction of new stations on existing BG railway lines for use by suburban trains. Services started on the Lingampally-Hyderabad and Lingampally-Secunderabad sections on August 9, 2003. The trains travel completely on double tracks shared with goods and other long distance trains. There are no exclusive suburban lines.

Currently the system has Lingampally in the west and Falkanuma in the south as terminating points. Services mostly run in the below routes:

  • Hyderabad - Lingampalli - Hyderabad
  • Falaknuma - Lingampalli - Falaknuma (passing Secunderabad)

A few services run beyond Lingampally to Ramachandrapuram with some services terminating at Secunderabad.

A larger Phase 2 project connecting places such as Medchal, Ghatkesar etc. to Kacheguda was planned in the early 2000s, but this seems to have been abandoned due to cost sharing issues with the state government and IR.

EMUs for the MMTS are supplied by ICF, much like other suburban systems.

Hyderabad Metro

Hyderabad Metro’s Phase 1 has 3 lines and 72km of routes. Construction started in 2012; 67km of the route became operational in stages from 2017 to 2020. A 5km stretch of the original proposal was never constructed because of litigation and other issues.

Hyderabad Metro runs under a PPP mode with L&T operating the system.

Though a Phase 2 has been planned, it is unclear who is going to fund it or how it’s going to be executed.

Phase 1 lines use 25 kV AC OHE for traction. Rolling stock is supplied by Hyundai-Rotem. The three lines operational are:

  • Red Line: Miyapur — L B Nagar (29.87km)
  • Green Line: JBS Parade Ground — Mahatma Gandhi Bus Station (9.6 km)
  • Blue Line: Nagole — Raidurg (28 km)

The depot for the Red Line is located at Miyapur, while the Green and Blue share a depot at Nagole.


Pune - Lonavala EMUs

EMUs started operating on the 63km stretch between Pune and Lonavala March 3rd, 1978. There are no exclusive tracks, and EMUs share the permanent way with long distance and freight trains. In 2009, all services were converted to 12-car rakes. Services start at Pune Jn; terminating points are Talegaon and Lonavala.

Pune Metro

Pune Metro is proposed to have 3 lines running for a total length of 54 Km; 2 lines are currently under construction.

Lines 1 and 2

Lines 1 and 2 (Purple and Aqua) total about 31km in length. They were first proposed in 2010, but subsequent approvals at state and union levels only came through by 2016. Construction started in 2017 with works being executed by Maha Metro (the company that operates the Nagpur Metro).

Purple Line: Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation – Swargate (17km)

Aqua Line: Vanaz – Ramwadi (15km)

Some stretches are due to be operational in 2022. The system runs on 25kV AC OHE. Rolling stock is by Titagarh Firerma.

Line 3

This line is being executed by the PMRDA in a PPP (Public-Private Partnership) mode. A JV of Tata Realty and Siemens won the contract in 2019. Pre-construction works are in progress for this line. This line runs from Hinjewadi to Civil Court for about 23km.

Konkan Railway Skybus Metro

Konkan Railway Corporation Ltd. proposed 'Skybus' systems (also sometimes known as 'SkyTrain') as an alternative to subway systems or light rail systems for providing transit solutions to urban areas. The concept involved an elevated railway with cars suspended from the trackway. Some photographs can be found in the picture gallery.

The elevated trackway had three rails in a guideway forming an enclosed passage or duct in the trackway structure, two for the trolleys or bogies from which the Skybus cars hang, and one for traction current. The trolleys ('SkyBogies') had two axles each, and were of standard gauge. Motive power was by 3-phase AC induction motors (linear motors were also planned). Braking was by disc and regenerative brakes. A trackway could have two such guideways for bogies (i.e., one for a Skybus track in each direction) and a service duct. The trackway thus formed a box structure.

The trackway was about 8m above ground level, following existing surface roadways in most cases. The trackway support was planned on 1m diameter columns spaced about 15m apart. Trains were to consist of one and two-car formations. Skybus trains were planned to travel at 40km/h or so at first with provision for higher speeds of up to 100km/h eventually since their motion would have been unobstructed by traffic, providing an advantage over conventional light-rail systems at surface level.

The cost of construction was also said to be about one-third that of underground metro systems (per unit length of track). Prototypes of the cars were supplied by BEML and Kineco. Kineco prototypes had a fibreglass body. The cars were air-conditioned and provided with automatic doors. Construction on a trial section in Madgaon began in 2003 and a short section of track was ready by April 2004. The first full system trials were run in July-August 2004 and the first public trial at 40km/h over a 1km stretch was on Sep. 15, 2004. On 25/09/2004, one employee was killed and three were injured in an accident. Trials were abruptly stopped. The system was completely dismantled in 2013.