The trial run would continue for a few weeks before the Commissioner of Metro Rail Safety (CMRS) is invited for inspection. Once the safety commissioner certifies the route fit, it would be cleared for commercial run. CMRL officers exuded confidence that the 10km stretch would be opened for traffic in January.
Originally, CMRL had planned to open the route for public use before the end of this month. However, the schedule has been deferred by a month owing to delay in installing the signal and telecommunication infrastructure, for which works are apace now.
Though CMRL has been operating a diesel locomotive since August last, Thursday was the first time a four-car train was tested on the newly laid rails on the underground segment. Opening of the 10km segment would not only extend metro link to North Chennai but also establish the fastest and most sophisticated commute to the city airport from the northern pockets of the city.
Commuters hope that CMRL, which has set a maximum fare of Rs 70 now, would consider reducing the fare to already operational areas once the Washermanpet-Airport-Koyambedu-Central link is established.