LAHORE: Orange Line Metro trains will run on 750 volt electrical current that will be supplied to them through a central iron/steel line, called third rail.

The third rail will run parallel on both tracks.

The electric supply system to the trains is practiced internationally, particularly in China that is entrusted with the task to introduce it in Lahore.

Though Pakistan Railways continued to use the electric traction system between Lahore-Khanewal section by supplying required electricity to the engines’ pantograph from the central hanging copper cable and run the trains till 2006 or so, it surprisingly started winding it up following various incidents of cable theft at various locations.

“The system being introduced to run metro trains is the latest one being practiced in various developed countries. At both tracks, there will be three iron/steel rails to be laid on each. The wheels of the trains will move on two lines (right and left) after supply of 750 volt electrical current to them through central line (between right and left), which is called third rail,” Punjab Mass Transit Authority (PMTA) General Manager (Operations) Syed Uzair Shah told Dawn on Sunday.

Asked if it would be dangerous to human life if someone tried to enter the track, the official said there would be no chance for the people to even try to enter it.

“There is a zero chance for anyone to enter the track, as the entire track (Over 25km elevated and 1.75km underground portion) would be heavily guarded. Besides this, the entire track would have very strong fencing on both sides. In case someone enters, he would be electrocuted,” he said.

Entire system will require 74MW power for supply to trains, stations,escalators

He quoted example of the Metro Bus track where the people manage to enter it after some difficulty whenever they hold a demonstration to stop the operation. But the orange line track would almost be elevated having fencing on both sides of the tracks with deployment of massive security officials, who would ensure and halt any effort to enter the track.

Similarly, the underground portion of the track (from Jain Mandir to an intersection near Lakshmi Chowk) would also be heavily guarded with other arrangements to keep the passengers away from the track, Mr Shah added.

He said according to the project study, the system would require 74MW electricity for which two power stations would be established to supply uninterrupted electricity to trains, stations, escalators and other installations.

“If the electricity supply to the system is suspended from one power station, the other one would start doing this under a backup plan. And in case both stations stop providing power, there will be a emergency backup system that will help the PMTA to at least succeed in bringing the trains up to stations,” he said.

However, there would be no chance of power suspension to the system and it would happen if the country faced a huge power breakdown, the official said.

He said there would be total 27 trains (each will have five coaches) that would run on the route from Ali Town (Raiwind Road) to Dera Gujran via Thokar, Multan Road, Chauburji, Jain Mandir Station and G.T. Road.

He said gradually the number of trains would be increased up to 54 till 2025 by the China Railways (CR) and Norinko, a joint venture which is responsible to bring the entire rolling stock, install electric, mechanical and other set-up and operate the system initially for a period of five years after completion of the project in April 2018.

“For this the PMTA will sign a contract with the CR-Norinko in near future,” the PMTA GM said.

Published in Dawn, January 18th, 2016



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