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In order to join the exclusive league of elite global metros in cities like London, Moscow, Berlin, Munich, and Istanbul that have already embraced this cutting-edge technology, the Kolkata Metro Railway is getting ready to undergo a revolutionary transformation as it switches from its traditional steel Third Rail system to a cutting-edge composite aluminum third rail system, according to the ministry of railways.

The steel Third Rail has been used by Kolkata Metro Railway for about 40 years to provide 750V DC electricity to its train stock. The Third Rail Current Collector (TRCC), which is primarily made of steel, has served as the foundation for this lifesaving service. Now, Kolkata Metro Railway has made a progressive decision by selecting the cutting-edge Aluminium Third Rail technology.

This change will be made in all new metro corridors that are currently being built, coupled with retrofits in existing corridors that currently use steel Third Rails. Three unique phases will be used to carry out the conversion plan.

According to the ministry, Kolkata Metro Railway will start the process of replacing the Third Rail along the Dumdum to Shyambazar line in the first phase. The sections from Shyambazar to Central and JD Park to Tollygunge will be included in the second phase. The transition will finally be extended in the third phase from Mahanayak Uttam Kumar (Tollygunge) to Kavi Subhash (New Garia).

A total of 35 RKm (route miles) of mainline steel third rails will be replaced as a consequence of the extensive project, enabling a smooth transition to the cutting-edge aluminum third rail technology.

The third rail made of aluminum composite has a number of benefits over its steel predecessor. Due to its decreased resistance, it first improves traction voltage levels by reducing resistive current loss. The second benefit of this transition is that it will result in lower capital expenditure costs because a 10-km corridor will only need one less Traction Substation, saving an estimated 210 crores for a 35-km metro line. Thirdly, by enabling quicker acceleration, it improves operating efficiency.

Additionally, by removing the requirement for periodic repainting and reducing the risk of corrosion, the Aluminium Composite Third Rail lowers maintenance and life cycle costs. Additionally, it promises enhanced train performance, which will eventually result in increased headway between trains.

Most crucially, the switch to aluminum composite third rail is consistent with sustainability principles because it is anticipated to save the metro system an estimated 6.7 million energy units annually, greatly lowering its carbon footprint.

Source- Livemint
Link- https://www.livemint.com/news/india/kolkata-metro-joins-elite-club-of-london-moscow-munich-metros-using-this-system-11693407895976.html


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