BEML delivers first India-made driverless metro cars to Mumbai Metro

BEML has supplied the first driverless metro coach to Mumbai Metropolitan Area Development Authority’s (BMRDA) Mumbai Metro project, giving a boost to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Make in India’ initiative. PM Modi also launched the first indigenously manufactured driverless metro coach.

The new coach, which is part of the order by Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (BMRC) for 500 coaches, will be used for the upcoming Mumbai Metro network. In line with metro networks in the developed countries, the new metro train has bicycle parking facility, allowing passengers to park their cycle, which is cheaper as a mode of transport while also helping to save precious parking space.
BEML, a Mini Ratna Category-I company under the ministry of defence and a premier manufacturer of metro cars in the country, started production of the coaches at its Bangalore complex towards the end of July.
“BEML is committed to supply metro cars for MMRDA well within the schedule. Our production has already started and we are committed to manufacture state-of-the-art coaches for MMRDA with the support of employees and executives,” Deepak Kumar Hota, CMD, BEML had said at the commencement of production, even as he acknowledged the support of DMRC and MMRDA.
BEML had previously bagged orders worth Rs3,015 crore from MMRDA for supply of 378 metro cars (63 metro train sets of 6 cars each) for Mumbai Metro Corridor 2 and 7 against stiff competition. The contract included supply of spares, design, installation and commissioning of metro cars.
The metro train will operate on 25 kv AC traction and is equipped with CCTV surveillance for passenger safety and made of stainless steel body with four doors on each side and real-time track monitoring. The cars have a capacity of carrying 300 passengers in each car.
BEML Limited’s Rail Coach Factory, situated in Bangalore, is the first all steel integrated rail coach factory established by the Government of India during 1948. It was set up with the assistance and technical know-how from MAN of the then Federal Republic of Germany. 
This factory was established to indigenously manufacture the passenger rail coaches (of broad gauge) for the use of Indian Railways. It was under the administrative control of Hindustan Aircraft Limited (now Hindustan Aeronautics Limited) which was later transferred to BEML Limited (earlier known as Bharat Earth Movers Limited) on 11 May 1964
During the implementation of the first urban transit project by DMRC for its Phase-1, BEML and Rotem signed a technical collaboration agreement during 2002 and BEML became the first to indigenously manufacture Metro Cars for DMRC RS1 contract and manufactured 220 units of metro cars.
Later, in order to indigenize the manufacture and integration of Metro train sets, BEML obtained a developmental order from DMRC to develop 8 intermediate cars. The successful completion of this developmental order strengthened BEML as an indigenous source for Metro Cars.
As on date, BEML has supplied over 1,100 Metro Cars for various projects in India. BEML’s efforts in successful completion of indigenization of Rolling Stock and the augmentation of its production facilities have been lauded by the customers.
With the experience gained in manufacture, integration and testing of Metro Cars, BEML expanded its role in Metro Business and is commanding a good market share in India.
Since inception, this Rail Coach Factory has manufactured & supplied over 17,000 mainline passenger coaches of various types for long distance trains of Indian Railways. In addition, BEML has manufactured and supplied over 800 Electrical Multiple Units (EMUs) to the Indian Railways for use in its sub-urban and mainline routes. BEML has also manufactured and supplied self-propelled equipment, viz, Rail Buses for public transport, other maintenance vehicles and over 120 8W-DHTCs (for OHE inspection and maintenance), to Indian Railways and various Metro Corporations of India.
The state-of-the-art driverless metro coach has been manufactured by Bharat Earth Movers (BEML) at its Bengaluru facility in a record time of just 75 days. BEML is a mini-ratna under the Ministry of Defence and a manufacturer of metro cars. 
The new coach forms part of the order by Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation for 500 coaches. The new coaches will be used for the upcoming Mumbai Metro network. In line with metro networks in the developed countries, the new metro train has bicycle parking facility, hence allowing passengers to travel to their destination with an additional mode of transport.
Mumbai Metro new driverless coaches: Features
The new Mumbai metro cars will operate on 25 kv AC traction. They are equipped with CCTV surveillance for passenger safety and made of stainless steel body with four doors on each side and real-time track monitoring. Each metro coach car will have the capacity of carrying 300 passengers. 
Some of the salient features of the new Mumbai metro coaches are:
  • Designed and developed for driverless or unattended train operations;
  • LED-based lighting system with intelligent light control, to save energy;
  • Advanced train control and management system, exterior finish with coloured graphic films
  • Bi-cycle parking facility, gangway with flexible side panel; and
  • On-board OHE monitoring, track monitoring, wheel profile monitoring and axle bearing temperature monitoring system for enhanced safety and maintenance.
Besides inaugurating the first driverless coach for Mumbai Metro, PM Modi also laid the foundation stone for three new Mumbai Metro lines, which will involve an investment of around Rs19,000 crore. 
The new corridors are from Kalyan to Taloja, Gaimukh to Shivaji Chowk (Mira Road) and Wadala to CST Metro-II.
Mumbai, the financial capital of the country, is looking to catch with Delhi in expansion of metro network. Delhi has a robust metro network that has allowed lakhs of people to switch to public transport, a model that Mumbai hopes to replicate.