From maintaining Big Data, to Automatic Train Operation, in-house ERP system, state-of-the-art Communication-Based Train Control Signaling system, to Automatic Train Supervision system with Automatic Route Setting and Automatic Train Regulation, UPMRC is handling the mega metro projects with the most advanced technologies.
Works like metro rail construction are executed completely at the ground level. The Uttar Pradesh Metro Rail Corporation Ltd. (UPMRC) has completed 23 km of Lucknow Metro construction with great efficiency, including in-depth knowledge of places where the Metro has to be built. Before the project is taken off the ground, all these locations are assessed by civil engineering experts with the help of computerized technology like CAD, which is used to generate swift and accurate replica of the architectural design. These designs are useful when used in the articulation of giant machines like the TBMs.
The civil construction of these mega projects merely use artificial intelligence (AI) but if we talk about rolling stocks, the ATO (Automatic Train Operation) has all the advanced features to run metro operations unmanned.
Secondly, Lucknow Metro being a mega-project, has all the construction work starting from the digging to re-construction of the roads, from development of the civil structures (stations, rooms, parking, footpaths etc) to laying of the metro track, from purchasing of the trains to the selling of the smart card, kept on record.
To maintain the record of such a big project, a big data bank is maintained, which can be used for audit and construction of other metro projects. Along with this, the corporation has its own ERP system to keep a record of all the core supply chain, manufacturing, services, financial and other processes.
The trains can be run both automatically and unmanned. During ATO metro rail operations are connected through computer technology and observed in the control centre. However, a train operator is always present and in case of any emergency, he can run the train in manual mode.
During ATO, the opening of the train doors is automated while the closing of the doors is done manually by the Train Operators (TOs). This is the most advanced system of automation provided in the Metro trains along with the latest state-of-the-art Communication-Based Train Control (CBTC) Signalling system.
Moreover, the Automatic Train Supervision (ATS) system ensures automatic management of train movement by Automatic Route Setting and Automatic Train Regulation, which supervise the train movement continuously and optimizes its smooth running in case of abnormalities.
Lucknow Metro has adopted world-class technology with fully advanced tools, ranking it as an advanced rapid transit.
Lucknow Metro does not only operate in the driver mode but also driverless - spearheading a growing trend for automatic train operations (ATO). Similarly, for the construction and maintenance work, the corporation has advanced, user-friendly techniques like on-site casting of pier caps, casting of double ‘T’ shaped girders, and special purpose vehicles like Rail Road Vehicle (RRV), etc, which has helped in achieving the target within the deadline.
As far as the construction work is considered, the Metro corporation, from inception of any project, always plan and bifurcate the project execution in such a way that each segment come up with their own deadline, which strengthen in achieving the desired goal within the stipulated time frame. The entire framework from planning to delivering the project is already set, according to which the task is performed. Some uncertainties impact the work, like the recent Covid-19, which had directly or indirectly impacted the timeline of the running Kanpur and Agra Metro projects. But instead of waiting at home, the management of the corporation performed all the possible tasks online which resulted in timely completion of the tasks like tender work, offsite construction work which had to be latterly installed at the construction site and taking the progress meetings online keeping in view all the Covid-19 related protocols.
The metro corporation worked on more than one parameter, which is one of the key reasons for its success in delivering the project on time. From day one, the project work gets divided into different segments with contractors. So, in case of failure of one, the other may not be affected. From time to time, special training sessions are planned for the site workers to avoid any collateral damage.
All the operation staff hired by the management are trained to acquire the skills required for imbibing modern technologies and handling the tools.
The corporation is very clear about the cost factor in the training of employees for the ultra-advanced machines. The SC/TO (Station Controller/Train Operator) are assessed for their agility and alertness during the peak hours of the operations. They have to undergo 23 weeks of training that includes motion simulator training for 48 hours, followed by 40 km driving on a test track, along with 360 km on the mainline (without passengers).
A competency exam is held for SOP rules procedure, system specific to rolling stock signalling, E&M, Telcom, AFC and troubleshooting, with emphasis on how to respond in an emergency, followed by an interview by a deputy level committee. They also undergo First-Aid training by Indian Railway doctors, and Fire-Fighting training by the UP-fire service team. Qualified TOs are awarded a certificate of competency.
Soft skill training is also imparted to inculcate customer handling, client servicing, and empathy in professional life, by the AMITY School of Communication Enhancement and Transformation and Regional English Language Office, US Embassy Delhi. The most experienced rolling stock pilot had covered approx. 70,000 km in 4 years from 2016-2021, which proves the efficacy of these tests.
UP Metro Rail Corporation ensures paramount safety, be it during execution of a metro project or after commencement of operations.
The Kanpur Metro Project’s Priority Corridor (IIT to Motijheel) has recently received the ISO 45001 for safety management.
Running a metro train is a very challenging task as commuter safety is paramount. All workers are equipped with safety gears like safety jacket, helmet and safety shoes at construction sites to protect them from all kinds of debris.
We observe a ‘safety week’ from 1st to 6th of March every year to make our employees aware of the importance of safety at workplaces. We give ‘safety awards’ for following proper safety norms at all times at the workplace, which boosts employees’ morale.
The pandemic crisis has not shaken the morale of UPMRC employees who have been progressing steadily with civil construction work of both Kanpur and Agra metro projects.
The Covid-19 pandemic has posed challenges not only for UPMRC but also for other metros across the country due to the suspension of train services during the lockdown. This has had a direct impact on the fare collection generated from sale of tickets and smart cards.
The ongoing construction work of Kanpur and Agra metro projects was affected due to labour shortage, but was overcome with the setting up of labour accommodation and providing food and medical facilities at Casting Yards.
This crisis has not shaken the morale of UPMRC and its employees who have been progressing steadily with civil construction work of both metro projects, taking necessary precautions and other mandatory safety measures. The guidelines and advisories issued by the government were also strictly adhered to taking care of safety and health of metro staff deployed at project sites.
Last year, in the Kanpur Metro Project, UPMRC had put extra efforts to ease the challenging period of lockdown for the labourers, which helped in winning their confidence. Consequently, UPMRC’s labour count crossed the mark of 1000 in just 50 days starting from the resumption of construction work on 29th April, 2020.
Adequate training has been imparted to the frontline operational staff catering to passenger service to mitigate the new challenges arising due to the outbreak of the pandemic. Detailed SoPs have been devised for commuters for their safety and protection. Wearing mask has been made mandatory along with thermal screening and temperature check before entering the premises.
Lucknow metro is the first metro in India to sanitise the coaches using UV rays.
Giving a boost to the Make in India mission, Lucknow Metro, in consultation with an Indian firm, has developed a UV sanitisation apparatus, which works on the UV Germicidal Irradiation disinfection method. The apparatus, certified by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) in October 2020, sanitises the entire coach in seven minutes. It is the same apparatus that is being used by the medical industry to sanitise operation theatres and medical equipment. The best part of this initiative is that it is highly economical and reduces the cost to about 1 per cent of the total cost.
The absolute contactless travel by using metro GoSmart card is also a unique initiative making the metro the safest mode of travel in comparison to other modes of public transit.