Kochi: As part of extending Kochi Metro services to Thykoodam, the authorities have started trail run in the third reach with crucial 'Load Test' being held over complicated balanced cantilever near the South overbridge on Sunday.
Currently metro services are available in the 18-km Aluva-Maharajas College section. The Kochi Metro Rail Ltd (KMRL) aims to extend the same till Thykoodam, another five km stretch, by September.
"The 'Load Test' was held today in the 1.3-km Maharajas College-South section. The exercise started at 6.30 am. A train, filled with sand bags to match weight of maximum passengers that can be accommodated, was operated at a speed of five kmph from Maharajas station to the balanced cantilever near the South over bridge," said a senior Metro official.
The technical experts termed the exercise as a "success" but added this was beginning of a series of trials to be held in the coming days.
"The aim was to test stability of the tracks and the balanced cantilever bridge. Now we'll hold track test, rolling stock test, compatibility test, integrated trial run and service trail run among others before applying for inspection by the Commissioner of Metro Rail Safety. We hope to open the section for traffic by Onam," he added.
A cantilever bridge is a bridge built using cantilevers, structures that project horizontally into space, supported on only one end. The one near the South overbridge the fifth balanced cantilever bridge and first curved balanced cantilever bridge in the country. The 90- metre span will be balanced on either end by 65-metre-long concrete spans, taking the total length of the structure to 220 metres and a curve of 152 m long radius. Such a lengthy span is rare in any metro-rail system in India.
A senior DMRC official said the work of setting up the viaduct and Third Rail Traction (power) in the entire stretch till Thykoodam is over.
"The only pending work is station construction activities. However, that will be done even after opening the stations as is the usual practice," the official said.
Meanwhile, sources said the work was not affected by over Rs 150 crore "dues" to be paid by the KMRL to the DMRC. "The KMRL promised to clear the dues in a week. We made alternative financial arrangements so as to not affect the works in any way," he said....