The Line 1, also known as North–South Metro of the Kolkata Metro is a rapid transit system serving Kolkata, South 24 Parganas and North 24 Parganas in Indian state of West Bengal. It consists of 23 stations from Kavi Subhash to Dum Dum, of which 6 are elevated, 2 are at grade and the remaining 15 are underground, with a total distance of 25.30 km. The line connects Dum Dum and New Garia and uses 5 ft 6 in (1,676 mm) Broad gauge rolling stock. Noapara was opened on 10 July 2013. It is elevated and is located 2.09 km. north of Dum Dum. So now (July 2013 onwards), Metro runs a total of 27.39 Kilometers from Noapara to Kavi Subhash where there are total 24 nos. of Stations. It was the first underground railway to be built in India, with the first operations commencing in October, 1984 and the full stretch that was initially planned being operational by February 1995. On 28 December 2010, it became the 17th zone of the Indian Railways. Being the country's first, and a completely indigenous process, the construction of the Kolkata Metro was more of a trial-and-error affair, in contrast to the Delhi Metro, which has seen the involvement of numerous international consultants. As a result, it took nearly 23 years to completely construct around 15 km underground railway from Birpara up to just before of Tollygunj Metro Station.
The laying of the founding stone was done in 1972, but actual construction of line 1 started only in 1978. Line 1 is 17 km. long with 17 stations (see above). Running of the first metro car on the line by 1984 was considered a great engineering challenge.Former railways minister A. B. A. Ghani Khan Chowdhury took a massive effort to perform it. The first section opened between Esplanade & Bhowanipore (now called Netaji Bhawan). First day Metro Railway Kolkata were started by Sri Tapan Kumar Nath and Sri Sanjay Sil. There were no connections of this stretch with the two depots at Dum Dum & Tollygunge (Now called Mahanayak Uttam Kumar). So metro cars had to be put down on the track near Esplanade by crane, by directly digging the road surface. Initially, only four car trains were run until 1986. There were no magnetic gates or escalators at that time and ordinary revolving gates served as exits. The Metro too operated on only a single line. Two years later, line 1 extended up to Tollygunge, at the southern end. At the same time, the metro service was extended to the double line. Magnetic tickets and more entry gates were also introduced at that time. The number of compartments in each train was increased to eight.
Metro service was also started from Dum Dum, at the northern end, to Belgachhia in parallel with the extension of the line to the south. But this short portion was not popular and the service was closed down to be restarted when the entire stretch along the north–south corridor was completed.
After 1986 many political incidents hampered the construction, and work almost stopped for nearly six years. After restarting work, the Dum Dum to Shyambazar metro service was started in 1994. This portion was served by four car trains. Two months later, the Esplanade – Chandni Chowk section was opened, and Chandni Chowk – Central section opened three months later. The service from Dum Dum to Tollygunge started in 1995, with Mahatma Gandhi Road Station, being opened in 1996. During this time, more magnetic gates and escalators were added and the revolving gates were slowly phased out.
The following dates represent the dates the section opened to the public, not the private inauguration.
|24 October 1984||Esplanade||Bhowanipore||3.40 kilometers (2.11 mi)|
|12 November 1984||Dum Dum||Belgachhia||2.15 kilometers (1.34 mi)|
|29 April 1986||Bhowanipur (now Netaji Bhaban)||Tollygunge (now Mahanayak Uttam Kumar)||4.24 kilometers (2.63 mi)|
|13 August 1994||Belgachhia||Shyambazar||1.63 kilometers (1.01 mi)|
|2 October 1994||Esplanade||Chandni Chowk||0.71 kilometers (0.44 mi)|
|19 February 1995||Shyambazar||Girish Park||1.92 kilometers (1.19 mi)|
|19 February 1995||Chandni Chowk||Central||0.60 kilometers (0.37 mi)|
|27 September 1995||Central||Girish Park||1.80 kilometers (1.12 mi)|
|22 August 2009||Tollygunge (Mahanayak Uttam Kumar)||Garia Bazar (now Kavi Nazrul)||5.85 kilometers (3.64 mi)|
|7 October 2010||Garia Bazar (now Kavi Nazrul)||New Garia (now Kavi Subhash)||3.00 kilometers (1.86 mi)|
|10 July 2013||Dum Dum||Noapara||2.09 kilometers (1.30 mi)|
|Total||Noapara||New Garia (now Kavi Subhash)||27.39 kilometers (17.02 mi)|
The stations of this Corridors are:
|Line 1 (North-South Corridor)|
|1||Kavi Subhash||কবি সুভাষ||कवि सुभाष||New Garia||7 October 2010||Kolkata Metro Line 6 (New Garia-Airport) (Under Construction) and Eastern Suburban Railways||At Grade||Also known as New Garia|
|2||Sahid Khudiram Metro Station||শহিদ ক্ষুদিরাম||शहीद खुदिराम||Garia||7 October 2010||Elevated||ঢালাই ব্রিজ Also known as Dhalai Bridge|
|3||Kavi Nazrul||কবি নজরুল||कवि नज़रुल||Garia||22 August 2009||Elevated||Also known as Garia Bazar|
|4||Gitanjali||গীতাঞ্জলি||गीतांजलि||Naktala||22 August 2009||Elevated||Also known as Naktala|
|5||Masterda Surya Sen||মাস্টারদা সূর্য সেন||मास्टरदा सूर्य सेन||Bansdroni||22 August 2009||Elevated||Also known as Bansdroni|
|6||Netaji||নেতাজি||नेताजी||Kudghat||22 August 2009||Elevated||Also known as Kudghat|
|7||Mahanayak Uttam Kumar||মহানায়ক উত্তমকুমার||महानायक उत्तम कुमार||Tollygunge||29 April 1986||At Grade||Also known as Tollygunge|
|8||Rabindra Sarobar||রবীন্দ্র সরোবর||रवींद्र सरोवर||Tollygunge||29 April 1986||Eastern Suburban Railways||Underground|
|9||Kalighat||কালীঘাট||कालीघाट||Kalighat||29 April 1986||Underground|
|10||Jatin Das Park||যতীন দাস পার্ক||यतीन दास पार्क||Kalighat||29 April 1986||Underground|
|11||Netaji Bhavan||নেতাজি ভবন||नेताजी भवन||Bhowanipore||24 October 1984||Underground|
|12||Rabindra Sadan||রবীন্দ্র সদন||रवींद्र सदन||Exide Crossing||24 October 1984||Underground|
|13||Maidan||ময়দান||मैदान||24 October 1984||Underground|
|14||Park Street||পার্ক স্ট্রীট||पार्क स्ट्रीट||Park Street (Now Mother Teresa Sarani)||24 October 1984||Line 3 (Under Construction)||Underground|
|15||Esplanade||এসপ্ল্যানেড||एस्प्लेनेड||Dharmatala||24 October 1984||Line 2 ( Line 3 (Under Construction)||Underground|
|16||Chandni Chowk||চাঁদনি চক||चाँदनी चौक||15 February 1995||Underground|
|17||Central||সেন্ট্রাল||सेंट्रल||Boubazar||15 February 1995||Underground|
|18||Mahatma Gandhi Road||মহাত্মা গান্ধী রোড||महात्मा गांधी रोड||Burrabazar||27 September 1995||Underground|
|19||Girish Park||গিরিশ পার্ক||गिरीश पार्क||Maniktala||15 February 1995||Underground|
|20||Shobhabazar Sutanuti||শোভাবাজার সুতানুটি||शोभाबाजार सूतानूटि||Shobhabazar||15 February 1995||Underground|
|21||Shyambazaar||শ্যামবাজার||श्यामबाजार||Shyambazar||15 February 1995||Underground|
|22||Belgachhia||বেলগাছিয়া||बेलगछिया||Belgachia||12 November 1984||Underground|
|23||Dum Dum||দমদম||दमदभ||Dum Dum||12 November 1984||Eastern Suburban Railways||Elevated|
|24||Noapara||নোয়াপাড়া||नोआपाड़ा||Noapara||10 July 2013||Line 4 (Noapara-Barast) (Opened recently on 10 July 2013)||Elevated||Largest station of the Kolkata Metro|
|25||Swami Vivekananda||স্বামী বিবেকানন্দ||स्वामी विवेकानंद||Baranagar||Under construction||Kolkata Metro Line 5 Baranagar Road Railway Station||Elevated||Also known as Baranagar|
|26||Dakshineswar||দক্ষীণেস্বর||दक्षिणेश्वर||Dakshineswar||Under construction||Dakhineswaer Railway Station||Elevated|
Dum Dum, Park Street, Mahanayak Uttam Kumar (Tollygunge), Netaji (Kundghat), Masterda Surya Sen (Bansdroni), Geetanjali (Naktala), Kavi Nazrul (Garia Bazar), Shahid Khudiram (Briji) and Kavi Subhash (New Garia) have side platforms; all other stations have island platforms. Central and Noapara, are exceptions as it has both platforms on the sides as well as in the centre. Dum Dum, Kavi Subhash (New Garia), Rabindra Sarobar & Shobhabazar Sutanuti have connections to interchange with standard railway while Belgachhia, Shyambazar, Esplanade & Kalighat have connections to the tram network. Tram lines also serve Shobhabazar Sutanuti, Mahatma Gandhi Road, Central, Jatin Das Park, Rabindra Sarobar & Mahanayak Uttam Kumar (Tollygunge) stations. Previously Park street & Maidan stations were also served by tram. The EM Bypass can be accessed from the Shahid Khudiram (Briji) metro station.
Extension up to Kavi Subhash Metro Station (New Garia) Mamata Banerjee during her first tenure as the railway minister initiated the project of Tollygunj – Garia metro extension. During her second tenure (2009–2011) she inaugurated the extension, and also introduced new state-of-the-art Air Conditioned rakes, manufactured indigenously at the Integral Coach Factory, at Perambur near Chennai.
The new extension to Garia Bazar in the south opened to public on 23 August 2009. The Garia Bazar station was named after Kavi Nazrul. A final extension from Kavi Nazrul (Garia Bazar) to Kavi Subhash (New Garia) was inaugurated on 7 October 2010, bringing the total number of stations to 23. On the same day two Air-Conditioned rakes were also pressed into service.
The plan to extend Line 1 in the north from Dumdum to Dakshineswar (5.2 km) is under execution. The construction of this stretch started in February 2010. It will be met by the metro line from Barrackpore at Baranagar (12.5 km).
The stations on this stretch will be:
Metro construction is of a very complex nature requiring application of several new technologies in the fields of civil, electrical, signaling and telecommunication engineering. Indian engineers backed by their own experience and supplemented by their studies abroad, adopted advanced technologies in the following fields for the first time in India.
|Total route length||27.39 km (17.02 mi)|
|Stations||24 (15 underground, 2 on surface and 7 elevated)|
|Gauge||1676 mm (5 ft 6 in), Indian Broad Gauge|
|Cars per train||8|
|Train length||162.4 m (8-car)|
|Maximum permissible speed||55 km/h (34 mph)|
|Average speed||30–31 km/h (19 mph)|
|Voltage||750 V D.C.|
|Method of current collection||Third Rail|
|Travel Time: Noapara to Kavi Subhash||54 minutes (approx.)|
|Capacity (per car)||326 passengers (278 standing, 48 sitting)|
|Capacity (per train)||2600 passengers (approx.)|
|Headways||5 minutes during peak hours & 7 minutes at other times|
|Total estimated cost of the project||₹18.25 billion (US$279.5 million) (approx.)|
|Environment control||Forced ventilation with washed and cooled air in case of non AC rakes and air conditioning in case of AC rakes|
The whole fleet is vestibuled. Carbodies and mechanical components were made by ICF Chennai with electrical components made by NGEF, Bangalore. The fleet is unique in that it is the only railroad equipment in India with end-mounted cab doors (except for some of the WAG-6 series locomotives).
ICF has specifically designed, manufactured and supplied these cars for the Kolkata Metro Underground Railway System. The special features incorporated are:
With all these features, the design and manufacturing process of these cars to a very high standard of reliability and safety has been a challenge. This was achieved without any technical collaboration. The entire fleet is capable of carrying 2356 passengers.
From October 2010, the process of phasing out of the current class of rolling stock was started and replaced by new air-conditioned cars 13 of which have been already pressed into service. Out of a total of 18 trainsets (non AC) owned by the Kolkata Metro, 11 are supposed to be retired within a few years and the remaining seven will be rebuilt with new features including air conditioning, which is badly needed.
The 13 state of the art AC rakes have the following features :-
In 2008, the Kolkata Metro Railway experimented with the practice of reserving two entire compartments for women.
This system was found to be ineffective and caused inconvenience for a lot of commuters (including women) and the plan was eventually dropped by the metro authority. But a certain section of seats in each of the eight compartments is reserved for women.
The Metro fare is distance-based. Fare structure on Metro Railway was last revised with effect from 01.10.2013 after a gap of three years. The present fare structure is as below:
|ZONE||DISTANCE (km)||FARE (₹)|
|I||up to 5||5.00|
The previous ticketing system of magnetic tickets has been scrapped and tokens are being used in its placed since July 2011. The system requires touch-free gates that function through radio-frequency identification rather than the old magnetic-strip reader. The Centre for Railway Information Systems, which has implemented the Rs 415 million project, gave the contract to a Spanish firm last year after a global bidding process.
Smart cards were also introduced a month later after the introduction of token system. The advantages of using Smart cards is the flexibility which allows daily passengers to travel into any zone without worrying of taking the token of exact zone. Another advantage it offers over regular tokens is the reduced effective cost of travel. A fully refundable security deposit of Rs 100 has to be made to obtain these smart cards. Presently the deposit is Rs 60.
The founder of Delhi Metro, E. Sreedharan said Indian Railways are not experts at urban transport, and mis-planned the Kolkata metro from the beginning. A private company should run the metro and can bring it up to standard in five years.
All new lines of the Kolkata Metro, starting with Line 2, will be operated by Kolkata Metro Rail Corporation Ltd. (KMRC).
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