- History of Kolkata Metro Rail Construction
- Operational Lines and Stations
- Kolkata Metro Routes
- System Specifications
- Recent News and Updates
- Fares and Smart Cards
- Future Expansion Plans
- Kolkata Metro’s Impact on Urban Transportation
Welcome to our comprehensive guide on Kolkata Metro, the first-ever metro system in India and a vital urban transportation service in the city of Kolkata. In this article, we will explore the history, operational lines, routes, system specifications, recent news and updates, fares, and future expansion plans of the Kolkata Metro. Whether you are a resident of Kolkata or a visitor to the city, this guide will provide you with all the essential information you need to navigate the metro system effectively.
2. History of Kolkata Metro Rail Construction
The Kolkata Metro holds a significant place in Indian history as the country’s first metro system. Its construction began in 1972 with the development of Line-1, which spanned a distance of 3.40 km between Esplanade and Netaji Bhavan. After several years of construction, this section of the metro system was inaugurated in October 1984, marking a major milestone in India’s transportation infrastructure.
Unlike the metro lines in Delhi, the Kolkata Metro had the distinction of being built with an indigenous mechanism. It utilized a cut-and-cover process with a tunnel shield, which was a trial-and-error system. The success of the initial line paved the way for further expansion, and between 1984 and 1995, additional sections were added, extending the total length of the metro to 16.45 km.
In the early 2000s, the Kolkata Metro witnessed another significant expansion with the extension of Line-1 by 10.94 km to New Garia (Kavi Subhash) Station. This expansion aimed to provide enhanced connectivity to the eastern suburbs of Kolkata. Simultaneously, construction began on Line-2, an east-west line stretching from Salt Lake Sector V to Howrah Maidan. This project, initially under the Ministry of Urban Development, was later transferred to the Ministry of Railways by the central government.
3. Operational Lines and Stations
Currently, the Kolkata Metro operates on two main lines, Line-1 and Line-2, serving a total of 31 stations. Line-1, also known as the Blue Line, runs from Dakshineswar to New Garia (Kavi Subhash). It covers a distance of 32 km and has become a lifeline for commuters traveling between the northern and southern parts of the city.
Line-2, also known as the East-West Metro, runs from Salt Lake Sector V to Howrah Maidan. This line, spanning a distance of 14.67 km, provides crucial connectivity between the IT hub of Salt Lake Sector V and the historic city of Howrah. The first section of Line-2 was inaugurated on February 13, 2020, while the final section, from Howrah Maidan to Phoolbagan, is expected to become operational in 2023.
4. Kolkata Metro Routes
The Kolkata Metro’s operational lines, Line-1 and Line-2, offer convenient routes for commuters to travel across the city. Let’s explore the routes of each line:
Line-1 (Blue Line): Dakshineswar to New Garia (Kavi Subhash)
Line-1, also known as the Blue Line, starts from Dakshineswar in the northern part of Kolkata and extends all the way to New Garia (Kavi Subhash) in the southern suburbs. This line covers a distance of 32 km and consists of multiple stations that serve various key locations along its route.
The stations on Line-1 include Dakshineswar, Noapara, Belgachia, Shyambazar, Girish Park, Mahatma Gandhi Road, Central, Chandni Chowk, Esplanade, Park Street, Maidan, Rabindra Sadan, Netaji Bhavan, Jatin Das Park, Kalighat, Rabindra Sarobar, Tollygunge, New Alipore, Majerhat, and Kavi Subhash (New Garia).
Line-2 (East-West Metro): Salt Lake Sector V to Howrah Maidan
Line-2, also known as the East-West Metro, connects the IT hub of Salt Lake Sector V with the historic city of Howrah. This line spans a distance of 14.67 km and provides seamless connectivity for thousands of commuters traveling between these two important areas of Kolkata.
The stations on Line-2 include Salt Lake Sector V, Karunamoyee, Central Park, City Centre, Bengal Chemical, Salt Lake Stadium, Phoolbagan, Sealdah, Esplanade, Mahakaran, Howrah Bridge, and Howrah Maidan.
5. System Specifications
The Kolkata Metro operates with specific system specifications that ensure safe and efficient transportation for its passengers. Let’s explore some of the key specifications of the metro system:
- Top Speed: The metro trains can reach a maximum speed of 80 kmph, allowing for faster travel times between stations.
- Average Speed: The average speed of the metro trains is approximately 34 kmph, ensuring timely journeys for commuters.
- Track Gauge: Line-1 operates on Broad Gauge with a track gauge of 1676 mm, while Line-2 operates on Standard Gauge with a track gauge of 1435 mm.
- Electrification: The metro system is powered by a 750 V DC Third Rail electrification system, which provides the necessary energy for train operations.
- Signalling: Line-1 utilizes Cab Signalling/Distance to Go system, known locally as “Automatic Signalling system.” Line-2 employs Communication Based Train Control (CBTC) for efficient train control and management.
These system specifications contribute to the smooth functioning of the Kolkata Metro, ensuring a comfortable and reliable transportation experience for passengers.
6. Recent News and Updates
The Kolkata Metro system constantly evolves and introduces various updates to enhance its services. Here are some of the recent news and updates related to the metro system:
New Maidan Market to be established at Curzon Park
In May 2023, it was announced that the Old Maidan Market, also known as the Bidhan Market, would be relocated to a new two-storey building above the East-West Metro Esplanade Station at Curzon Park. The new market will consist of approximately 500 shops and is expected to be completed within a year. This relocation will pave the way for the construction of the Purple Line terminal Esplanade station at the current Bidhan Market location.
Increase in Smart Card Purchase Value
In May 2023, Kolkata Metro announced an increase in the minimum purchase value of smart cards from Rs 120 to Rs 150. This change is applicable to smart cards issued from June 1, 2023. The security deposit amount remains unchanged at Rs 80, resulting in a recharge value difference of Rs 70. The increase in purchase value aims to accommodate the evolving needs of commuters and enhance the convenience of using smart cards for metro travel.
Introduction of Parcel Pick and Drop Facility at Sealdah Metro Station
In a pioneering move, the Sealdah metro station in Kolkata introduced a parcel pickup and drop-off (PUDO) facility in May 2023. This service enables commuters to send and receive parcels during the operating hours of the East-West Metro (Green Line). The parcel booth at Sealdah metro station eliminates the need for commuters to visit courier service counters, providing a convenient solution for mailing and receiving parcels.
These recent developments highlight the Kolkata Metro’s commitment to improving its services and addressing the evolving needs of passengers.
7. Fares and Smart Cards
The Kolkata Metro operates on a fare system that is determined based on the distance traveled. Passengers can conveniently use smart cards for seamless fare payment and travel. Here is an overview of the fare structure and smart card options available:
The fare structure of the Kolkata Metro is based on the distance traveled between the starting and ending stations. The fares are divided into different zones, and the fare for each zone varies. As of the latest update, the minimum fare for a single journey is Rs 5, while the maximum fare can go up to Rs 35 for longer distances.
Smart cards are an efficient and convenient way to pay fares on the Kolkata Metro. These rechargeable cards can be used for multiple journeys and offer various benefits, such as discounted fares and hassle-free travel. The minimum purchase value for smart cards was increased to Rs 150 from June 1, 2023, to accommodate the evolving needs of passengers.
To obtain a smart card, commuters can visit designated metro stations and apply for a card by providing the necessary details and a security deposit. The cards can be recharged at metro stations or online through the Kolkata Metro website.
8. Future Expansion Plans
The Kolkata Metro has ambitious plans for future expansion, aiming to further enhance the city’s transportation infrastructure. Here are some of the upcoming expansion projects:
Proposed Lines and Extensions
In the 2010-11 railway budget, the Union Railway Minister announced the addition of new lines and extensions to the Kolkata Metro. These projects aim to connect various key locations and provide improved connectivity to the city’s suburbs. Some of the proposed lines and extensions include:
- Joka Line: A new line to connect Joka with the existing metro network.
- Dakshineshwar Line: An extension of Line-1 to Dakshineshwar, providing connectivity to the famous Dakshineshwar Kali Temple.
- Barrackpore Line: An extension of Line-1 to Barrackpore, enhancing connectivity to the northern suburbs.
- NSCBI Airport Line: A new line to connect the Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport (NSCBI Airport) with the metro network, improving connectivity for air travelers.
These expansion plans demonstrate the Kolkata Metro’s commitment to meeting the growing transportation needs of the city and its surrounding areas.
9. Kolkata Metro’s Impact on Urban Transportation
The Kolkata Metro has had a significant impact on urban transportation in the city, providing a reliable and efficient mode of travel for millions of commuters. Here are some key ways in which the metro system has influenced urban transportation:
Reduction in Traffic Congestion
By offering a convenient alternative to road transportation, the Kolkata Metro has played a crucial role in reducing traffic congestion in the city. The metro system attracts a significant number of commuters, relieving the burden on roads and contributing to smoother traffic flow.
Time and Cost Savings
The efficient operations of the Kolkata Metro have resulted in time and cost savings for commuters. With faster travel times and affordable fares, passengers can reach their destinations more quickly and economically compared to other modes of transportation.
Improved Connectivity and Accessibility
The metro system has significantly improved connectivity and accessibility within the city. It connects key locations and neighborhoods, making it easier for people to reach their desired destinations. Additionally, the metro’s presence has spurred urban development around its stations, creating vibrant hubs of activity.
As a sustainable mode of transportation, the Kolkata Metro has helped reduce air pollution and carbon emissions. By encouraging more people to use public transportation, the metro system contributes to a cleaner and greener environment.
The Kolkata Metro stands as a testament to India’s transportation progress, being the country’s first metro system. With its operational lines, extensive network of stations, and future expansion plans, the Kolkata Metro continues to evolve and provide efficient transportation services to the residents and visitors of Kolkata. Whether it’s reducing traffic congestion, improving connectivity, or promoting environmental sustainability, the metro system plays a vital role in shaping the city’s urban transportation landscape. Explore the routes, maps, timings, fares, and updates of the Kolkata Metro, and experience the convenience and comfort of this iconic transportation system.
Source:- Magicbricks.com, Kolkata Metro Railways, Indian Railway, Local Newspapper
Image:- From Internet*