The Hyderabad Metro is an elevated system with a nine metre-wide bridge structure. Credit: SSS8888.
The Hyderabad metro rail services were flagged off by Prime Minister of India in November 2017. Credit: Prime Minister’s Office.
The JBS-MGBS route added 11km to the existing 58km. Credit: Saumyalakhani.
The Raidurg Metro Station was inspected by CEIG. Credit: Debanjanasingh.

Hyderabad’s Metro is a rapid transit system for the city of Hyderabad in Andhra Pradesh, India.

The project was inaugurated in November 2017, making it the second biggest operational metro in the country after the Delhi Metro.

Owned by Hyderabad Metro Rail, the project was proposed in 2008 to meet the transport needs of the city’s growing population, which is expected to increase to 13.64 million by 2021. The contract to build and operate the metro system was awarded to Larsen and Toubro (L&T) in July 2010.

The new metro rail will shorten journey times by 50%-70% and is expected to reduce carbon emissions by up to 3,100t a year.

The metro project was earlier designed with a capacity of 40,000 passengers per hour in peak times. Capacity was scaled up to 60,000 passengers per hour considering the increasing density of population. The frequency of the service will be around one train every five minutes.

Need for Hyderabad Metro project

The city of Hyderabad covers the municipal corporation and metropolitan areas of the region. The municipal corporation area is about 625km², while the metropolitan area covers 6,852km².

Buses are the major public transportation system in Hyderabad, and are operated by the Andhra Pradesh Road Transport Corporation, which runs a fleet of more than 19,000 vehicles.

Hyderabad also has a light rail transportation service, the Multi-Modal Transport System. Journeys by public transport are estimated to constitute 42% of all motorised trips made every day.

However, with the growing population and number of vehicles on the road, the city’s transportation system has come under immense pressure to develop a metro rail project.

Financial backing from federal and state government

The estimated cost of the Hyderabad Metro project is $2.62bn. About 20% of the funding is being provided as part of the government’s viability gap funding scheme. The federal and state governments provide financial support for 40% of the project cost.

Hyderabad Metro project details

In April 2008, the Government of Andhra Pradesh (GoAP) approved phase one of the project based on traffic and transportation reports generated by the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC). The DMRC’s reports were based on studies made of the geophysical features of the routes and on international best practices and economics.

Phase one will include three lines along high-density traffic corridors, spanning 71.16km.

In July 2008, the GoAP awarded a contract to executing the project under a design, build, finance, operate and transfer basis for 35 years to a consortium led by Maytas Metro. However, this contract was cancelled in July 2009.

The state government subsequently invited qualification bids. L&T emerged as the lowest bidder at Rs1.46bn ($19.89m) and was awarded the contract under a design, build, finance, operate and transfer basis.

Unsuccessful bidders were the Transstroy-OJSC Transstroy-CR18G-BEML consortium, with a bid of Rs2.2bn ($29.98), and the Reliance Infra-Reliance Infocomm consortium, with a bid of Rs2.9bn ($39.52m).

L&T will receive real estate construction rights over 18.5 million square feet, in addition to ticket sales revenue.

The project achieved its financial closure in April 2011. The groundbreaking ceremony of the project took place in April 2012 and was completed in 2019.

The detailed project report for the second phase was submitted to the government in February 2020. Phase two will also include three corridors.

L&T Metro Rail received three National Awards for Public Relations, Social Media & Branding at the Public Relations Society of India (PRCI) in March 2020.

Line routes and stations

The phase one of the Hyderabad Metro will have three lines. Corridor-1 extends from the south-east to the north-west of the city and is 29.87km long, connecting 27 stations between Miyapur and LB Nagar.

Corridor-2 will run from east to west and will be 14.78km long, connecting 16 stations from Secunderabad to Falaknuma. Corridor-3 stretches from the north to the south and is 27km long, connecting 23 stations from Nagole to Raidurg.

All three lines will interconnect at common stations: Ameerpet on lines one and three, the medical college on lines one-two, and the parade grounds on lines two and three. All stations will be 1km apart on average.

Phase two of the project will also be divided into three phases, Corridor-1, Corridor-2 and Corridor-3. Corridor-1 will extend from Ladikapul to Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (RGIA), Corridor-2 from Nagole to LB Nagar, and Corridor -3 from Raidurg to RGIA.

Construction work on the Indian metro

Construction work on the metro project started in April 2012 with groundbreaking ceremonies taking place at three locations. Construction of the three corridors of phase one has been divided into six stages.

Corridor-1 was built under stages two and five, which include the Miyapur to S R Nagar and S R Nagar to L B Nagar stretches respectively. Construction of Corridor-2 is carried out under stage six, which includes the JBS to Falaknuma stretch. Corridor-3 was built in stage one, three and four and includes the Nagole to Mettuguda, Mettuguda to Begumpet and Begumpet to Shilparamam stretches respectively.

The Corridor-1 of phase one was partly opened in November 2017, while the entire line became operational in September 2018. The Corridor-3 was fully opened in November 2019.

The 11km stretch of Corridor-2 running from Jubilee Bus Station to Mahatma Gandhi Bus Station was inaugurated in February 2020, increasing the total operational network to 69km.

Infrastructure of Hyderabad’s transport system

The Hyderabad Metro is an elevated system with a 9m-wide bridge structure. The bridge extends from the central median of the road and houses two tracks.

The tracks are of 1,435mm standard gauge. The system’s electrical traction is of DC 750V and power is supplied through the third rail. Continuously welded rails are laid to minimise the noise levels.

Trains are operating at a top speed of 80km/h. Locomotives are air-conditioned and include automatic doors and other safety features.

The metro system also has a feeder bus service. The buses are air-conditioned and connect nearby lanes, businesses and other popular destinations. Smart card-based automatic ticketing and gate systems have been planned for the metro.

The skywalk at Hitech City metro station was opened in October 2019. The skywalk connects Hictec City Mall with L&T Next Galleria. Another skywalk at Panjagutta metro station connects the Punjagutta Mall and L&T Next Galleria.

Signalling, communications and contractors

Trains have automated systems that include train control and train protection. Automatic train operation will also be upgraded.

As part of the concession agreement, automatic systems have to be constructed, operated, maintained and transferred at the end of the concession period.

Keolis, a subsidiary of France-based SNCF Group, was selected as the operating and maintaining contractor for the metro project in May 2012 by L&T. Hyundai Rotem is the rolling stock contractor for the project.

The corridor from Jubilee Bus sStation to Mahatma Gandhi Bus station is enabled by Thales’ communication systems and signalling.