Rolling stock manufacturer Alstom has begun production on its €124m ($133m) driverless metro train contract for Chennai Metro Rail (CMRL), the rail provider in Chennai, India. 

The 36 Metropolis trainsets will be built at Alstom’s factory in Sri City, 75km north of Chennai, on the Eastern coast of the subcontinent. 

All 36 metro units will be formed of three cars (108 coaches in total) and will be capable of operating without drivers. 

They will run on a 26 km corridor of Phase-II of the Chennai Metro linking Poonamallee Bypass to Light House via 28 stations. The trains will each have capacity for 1,000 passengers, and the manufacturer said the 80km/ph locomotives will connect key economic zones for 11 million metro travellers. 

The Alstom Metropolis trains will be equipped with Unattended Train Operations (UTO), Automatic Train Operation (ATO) and Automatic Train Protection (ATP) systems. 

The coaches will also be fitted with a regenerative braking system to boost its environmental credentials. 

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This is the second contract in India for the French manufacturer, following its successful delivery of 208 metro cars for the 54km of the first phase of the Chennai Metro. 

M.A. Siddique, managing director of CMRL highlighted the benefits of the new trains for commuters. 

“These modern trains prioritize safety and passenger comfort, further elevating the commuting experience.”

“We are happy that our first set of driverless trains will be manufactured near Chennai by Alstom. We look forward to operating these technologically advanced trains on the Phase-II network by the end of 2025, marking a significant milestone for the city’s transportation infrastructure,” he added. 

Olivier Loison, managing director of Alstom India said: “We have a long-standing association with Chennai Metro, for over a decade. The rolling stock order for Chennai Metro Phase-I marked the beginning of our manufacturing journey in India.

“As we begin production for the second phase, we are thrilled to be bringing more innovation to Chennai Metro that promises to redefine the commuting experience for the residents of Chennai.”