With driverless operation and advanced signaling systems, Bhopal and Indore Metro Projects were expected to bring a futuristic public transportation system to Madhya Pradesh. However, plans have changed, and the projects will now have three coaches per ride, with work to determine ridership and overall capacity underway.
In 2014, Bhopal Light Rail Metro System (LRTS) concept was proposed, allowing driverless trains to operate with a communication-based train control (CBTC) signaling system. However, the high cost of implementing such a system has led to the abandonment of this plan.
Madhya Pradesh Metro Rail Corporation Limited (MPMRCL) has reserved 156 coaches for the project’s sanctioned “first phase”. Work is going on to meet the September 2023 goal for the start of the test run in Bhopal and Indore. This deadline is expected to come close to the release of the moral code of conduct in advance of state assembly elections.
Despite some disappointment, the focus is now on completing the projects on time and to a high standard. The ultimate design and capacity of Bhopal and Indore metro projects are still unknown due to ongoing construction.
The rejection of the self-driving plan may surprise some, given the numerous benefits of this technology, such as better safety, lower operating costs, and improved efficiency. However, it is important to consider the significant investment required to implement such a system, as well as the potential challenges that may arise during the testing and operation phases.
The facility in Gujarat that has been hired to supply rolling stock and signaling, is valued at Rs 3,200 crore. The facility will oversee installing the CBTC signaling system, train control, and telecommunication systems, all of which will be covered by a seven-year maintenance contract. The first section of the metro rail system is expected to open in Bhopal around 2027.
Bhopal and Indore Metro Projects continue to be crucial steps towards modernizing public transport in Madhya Pradesh, notwithstanding the difficulties brought on by the decision to abandon the self-driving plan. The initiatives will create jobs, decrease traffic congestion, and give residents and visitors a more efficient and sustainable transportation option.
While Bhopal and Indore Metro Projects do not incorporate autonomous operations, they do represent a huge investment in the future of public transit in India. With work continuing to achieve the 2023 deadline, the people of Madhya Pradesh may look forward to a more efficient and sustainable travel choice in the coming years.