The new system has been proposed for small cities and towns having lower projection of ridership, with each 'Metrolite' train set having three coaches, running at a restricted speed of 25 kmph.
Small cities to get Metrolite! In an attempt to make commuting smooth and easy in small cities, the Modi government has recently proposed light urban rail transit systems – the ‘Metrolite’. The new system has been proposed for small cities and towns having lower projection of ridership, with each ‘Metrolite’ train set having three coaches, running at a restricted speed of 25 kmph. According to a PTI report, standard specifications of the ‘Metrolite’ system have been issued by the Union Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry which will be developed on the surface and elevated stretches. According to the ministry, the ‘Metrolite’ can be developed at a lower cost, compared to the existing metro system. The new system will also act as a feeder system to high capacity Metro.
The train, consisting of three coaches, will have a capacity of carrying around 300 passengers. According to sources quoted in the report, to implement the light urban rail transit system, the Centre would provide financial assistance to states. For this system, a dedicated path would be provided, separating the road traffic with it. Also, fencing has been proposed on either side of the network for segregation with road traffic. According to the ministry, the metro system being developed currently is of high capacity which is needed for bigger cities with very high ridership. Seeing the existing metro system’s success, several small cities and towns across the country want a rail-based mass rapid transit system, the need for which could be fulfilled by Metrolite.
The Modi government in its manifesto had promised to expand the metro network coverage to as many as 50 cities. The new ‘Metrolite’ system will be provided with shelter platforms, with no platform screen doors, AFC gates, X-ray and baggage scanner. The ticket validators are likely to be installed inside the train and shelter with NCMC or other ticketing systems. The standard specification of Metrolite stated that with random checking, heavy penalty shall be levied on those travelling without a valid ticket. It further stated that elevated corridor for the Metrolite system will only be planned when At-Grade system (surface) could not be implemented.
According to the specifications issued, the road space occupied at the median shall be maximum 2.2 m for piers. The three non-separable coaches of Metrolite train will have a low floor height of about 300-350 mm. The unit length shall be minimum 33 m. For the car structure material, stainless steel or aluminium will be used. The Metrolite’s maximum operational speed is that of 60 kmph. However, in any case, even with the failure of on-board signalling, the speed will be restricted to 25 Kmph. For providing at least single-track operation of these trains between two parallel roads, the respective municipal corporations will identify all possible paths, the ministry said.