Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on Wednesday flagged off the test run of much-awaited Chennai Metro Rail, which is expected to give a fillip to transport needs of commuters in the city.
The four-car rake made its test run at Koyambedu terminal along an 800 metre stretch, where a number of tests would be conducted, officials said.
The Brazillian-made metro rail is being constructed at a cost of Rs 14,600 crore, aiming to provide modern and swift transportation solution to the congested city.
Being implemented by Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL), services will be operated on two routes, Washermanpet-Airport (23.085 km) and the Chennai Central-St.Thomas Mount stretch, covering over 21 km.
CMRL officials said the Koyambedu-St.Thomas mount stretch is expected to come to public use by next April.
French company Alstom will produce the trains for CMRL. Of the total of 42 trains of four rakes each, nine are being manufactured in the firm's Brazil facility while the rest will be made at its plant in Andhra Pradesh.
During the course of time, two more coaches could be added to the trains, which offcials claim has many commuter-friendly features.
These include luggage facilities for office-goers which they said was not available in the existing Metro rail services in Delhi and Bengaluru.
Other features include AC facilities, special facilities for the physically disabled such as longer stoppage options and CCTV camera.
The four-rake trains can accommodate 176 persons seated while 1,100 persons can stand, they said adding the train would undergo a series of tests in the coming months after which it would be put to safety certification.
Of the Rs 14,600 crore, the Central and state governments are providing a share capital of 15 per cent each. Centre and the Tamil Nadu government will also give subsidiary debt of five and 5.78 per cent respectively.
The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) will provide loans for the rest 59.22 per cent, officials said.
Earlier, Jayalalithaa was shown around the train by officials, who explained the salient features.