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LAHORE: The 626-kanal depot of the Orange Line metro train, located at the eastern end of the track, will serve as the originating and culminating point for the entire train operations, is in the final phase as the project nears completion.

In recent weeks, a number of successful trials of the train has been done, the train is likely to roll out in May this year.

The depot located at Dera Gujran will house 24 buildings for multiple functions that are crucial to the success of the project and even important for its operations.

According to the Lahore Development Authority (LDA) officials, this important area because it would control the entire operation and the list of buildings and centers in the yard show it all.

Major buildings in the depot are General Overhaul Workshop, Maintenance Centre, Washing Area, Diesel Locomotive Workshop, Signal Building, Training Centre, Comprehensive Maintenance Centre, Material Storage and Garage, Combined Substation, High Voltage Substation and office building etc.

Siding and maintenance areas would also serve for parking of the 14 trains, which have arrived in the country, along with their soft maintenance. Its capacity, however, can be increased up to 27 trains if and when required.

General overhaul workshop will deal with the locomotives which require proper overhauling and hard maintenance. The trains are to be washed daily in the washing area, whereas signal building will provide signals to the buildings. All the staff is being provided proper technical training for the train operations. Other equipment involved in the E&M operations of the train in the comprehensive maintenance centre. A high voltage substation located near the University of Engineering and Technology would provide electricity to these trains and the combined substation would control the electricity flux from the depot. All the office staff monitoring the operations would be present in the office building.

“This area is the most important in a sense that it would be launching pad for the entire operation,” explains one of the LDA employees. Though there would be another stabling yard on the other end of the track at Ali Town but that would be less equipped as compared to this one. The main burden of the operation and maintenance would thus be on this one only: it would be the nerve center of the entire operation, which would not only control operations but also enable the trains running – maintaining, washing, repairing trains and dealing with all sorts of emergencies during the operations.

Published in Dawn, March 31st, 2018