The Kolkata Metro is a rapid transit system serving the Kolkata metropolitan area in the Indian state of West Bengal. The network currently consists of one operational line of 27.22 km from Noapara to Kavi Subhash with three other lines in various phases of construction. The Kolkata Metro was the first metro railway in India, opening for commercial services from 1984. It is the sixth longest operational metro network in India after the Delhi Metro, Hyderabad Metro, Chennai Metro, Namma Metro and Noida Metro. On 29 December 2010, Metro Railway, Kolkata became the 17th zone of the Indian Railways, operated by the Ministry of Railways. It is the only metro in the country to be controlled by Indian Railways .There are 300 metro services daily carrying over 700,000 passengers making it the second busiest metro system in India.
|Locale||Kolkata, West Bengal, India|
|Transit type||Rapid Transit|
|Number of lines||1 (Operational)
4 (Under construction)3(Planned but construction not started)
|Number of stations||24 Stations (Operational)
44 Stations (Under construction)26 Stations (Planned but construction not started)
|Daily ridership||Over 700,000|
|Began operation||24 October 1984|
|Host railroads||Indian Railways|
|Number of vehicles||43|
|Train length||6 and 8 Coaches|
|Headway||5, 6, 8, 10, 15, 20 Minutes|
|System length||27.22 km|
|Track gauge||1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in) |
(Broad gauge) for Line 1, 3, 4, 5, 6
1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in)
(Standard gauge) for Line 2
|Electrification||750 V DC Third Rail|
|Average speed||55-60 KMPH|
- 1 History
- 2 Planning
- 3 Operational
- 4 Network
- 5 Further expansion
- 6 Owners and Operators
- 7 Infrastructure
- 8 Services
- 9 See also
- 10 References
- 11 External links
The then Chief Minister of West Bengal, Dr. Bidhan Chandra Roy, reconceived the idea of building an Underground Railway for Kolkata in the early 1950s. A survey was done by a team of French experts, but nothing concrete came of this. Efforts to solve the problem by augmenting the existing fleet of public transport vehicles hardly helped, since roads accounted for only 4.2% of the surface area in Kolkata, compared with 25% in Delhi and even 30% in other cities. With the goal of finding alternative solutions to alleviate the suffering of commuters, the Metropolitan Transport Project (Railways) (MTP) was set up in 1969. The MTP (Rlys), with help of Soviet specialists (Lenmetroproekt) and East German engineers, prepared a master plan to provide five rapid-transit (metro) lines for the city of Kolkata, totalling a route length of 97.5 km in 1971. However, only three were selected for construction. These were:
- Dum Dum - Tollygunge
- Salt Lake City - Ramrajatala (presently truncated till Howrah Maidan, proposed to be expanded to Santragachi Bus Terminus)
- Dakshineswar - Thakurpukur (route changed to Joka - BBD Bagh and Noapara - Dakshineswar)
Of these, the highest priority was given to the busy north-south axis between Dum Dum and Tollygunge over a length of 16.45 km, and the work on this project was sanctioned on 1 June 1972. The foundation stone of the project was laid by Indira Gandhi, the Prime Minister of India, on 29 December 1972 and the construction work started in 1973-74. In those early days of Kolkata Metro, the planning, thought processing, and political facilitation of the whole project was borne almost single-handedly by the then Union Railway Minister from West Bengal - A. B. A. Ghani Khan Choudhury - often against (and to the chagrin of) the prevailing socio-political stance of his contemporaries in the West Bengal government. From the start of construction, the project had to contend with several problems including insufficient funds (until 1977-78), a shifting of underground utilities, court injunctions, and an irregular supply of vital materials.
Despite the difficulties faced, services began on 24 October 1984, with the commissioning of a partial commercial service covering a distance of 3.40 km with five stations served in between Esplanade and Bhowanipur (currently Netaji Bhavan). The first metro was driven by Tapan Kumar Nath and Sanjoy Sil. The service was quickly followed by commuter services on another 2.15 km stretch in the north between Dum Dum and Belgachhia on 12 November 1984. The commuter service was extended up to Tollygunge on 29 April 1986 covering a further distance of 4.24 km making the service available over a distance of 9.79 km and covering 11 stations. However, the services on the north section were suspended with effect from 26 October 1992, as this isolated small section was little used.
After a gap of more than eight years, the 1.62 km Belgachhia-Shyambazaar section, along with the Dum Dum-Belgachhia stretch, was opened on 13 August 1994. Another 0.71 km stretch from Esplanade to Chandni Chowk was commissioned shortly afterwards, on 2 October 1994. The Shyambazaar-Shobhabazar-Girish Park (1.93 km) and Chandni Chowk-Central (0.60 km) sections were opened on 19 February 1995. Services on the entire stretch of the Metro were introduced from 27 September 1995 by bridging the vital gap of 1.80 km in the middle. 
In the final stage, the extension of Line 1 to an elevated corridor from Tollygunge to New Garia was constructed and opened in two phases, Mahanayak Uttam Kumar to Kavi Nazrul in 2009 and Kavi Nazrul to Kavi Subhash in 2010. The latest extension constructed was the 2.59 km elevated corridor from Dum Dum to Noapara on 10 July 2013.
The state government has also prepared a detailed project report on a proposed extension of East West Metro (Kolkata Metro Line 2) from Howrah Maidan to Santragachhi. Rites, the implementing agency for the 10 km East-West Metro extension project from Howrah Maidan to Santragachhi bus terminus, is set to start work on the corridor early in 2017.
In 2010, the Railway Ministry announced plans for the construction of five new metro lines and an extension of the existing North-South corridor. These new projects are:
- Salt Lake City - Howrah Maidan (East-West Metro Corridor)
- Joka - BBD Bagh
- Noapara - Barasat via Biman Bandar (Dum Dum Airport)
- Baranagar - Barrackpore
- New Garia - Biman Bandar (Dum Dum Airport)
- Extension of Line 1 from Dum Dum to Dakshineswar via Noapara
- Construction of station at Noapara: A new 4-platform station has been constructed at Noapara. Commuters of Line 1 will be able to interchange trains going towards the Dum Dum Airport via Line 4 (Noapara-Barasat). For the time being, only two platforms are in use, but once Line 4 gets started, all four platforms will become operational.
- Upgrade of Esplanade metro station: A subway is going to be constructed in the existing Esplanade metro station to provide an interchange between Line 1, Line 2 and Line 3
- India's Highest metro station Line 2 of Kolkata metro will have an extension towards Dum Dum Airport from its existing Central Park metro station. In that extension, A new Station at the Haldiram Crossing on VIP road will be constructed at a height of 22 metres, going to be the highest in the country.
|Line||First Run||Last Extension||Station||Length (KM)||Operating Terminals||Rolling Stock||Track Gauge (mm)||Power||Avg. Frequency (min)|
|Line 1||24-10-1984||14-03-2013||24||27.22||Noapara||DumDum||Kavi Subhash||ICF||1676||750 V DC||6|
expected first run
|Terminals||Rolling Stock||Track gauge||Power|
|Line 1||October 1984||Noapara (2013)||26||31.365||Kavi Subhash||Dakshineswar||ICF, MCF and CRRC Dalian||1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in)||750 V DC using third rail|
|Line 2||September 2019 (Sector V - Saltlake stadium)||17||22.1||Howrah Maidan||Teghoria (Haldiram)||BEML||1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in)|
|Line 3||2021 (Joka - Majerhat)||14||16.215||Diamond Park||Esplanade||1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in)|
|Line 4||Noapara - Dumdum Airport (1st phase)||10||16.876||Noapara||Barasat|
|Line 6||2021 (Kavi Subhash - Hemanta Mukherjee)||24||29.87||Kavi Subhash||Dumdum Airport|
|Total||94 (102 If interchanges taken multiple times)||128.826|
(North-South / Noapara-Kavi Subhash Metro)Edit
Line 1 or the North-South Line has a total length of 27 kilometres (17 mi) serving 24 stations of which 15 are underground. It has a combination of elevated, ground-level and underground lines and uses five and a half feet (1.7 metres) of Indian gauge, a broad gauge rolling stock. It was the first underground railway to be built in India, with the first trains running in October 1984 and the full stretch that had been initially planned was completed and operational by February 1995. On 28 December 2010, it became the 17th zone of the Indian Railways. The New Delhi Metro, which opened in 2002, is the second such urban metro rail network in India. It had benefitted from the expertise gained during the Kolkata metro construction. In being the country's first metro and constructed as a completely indigenous process, the Kolkata Metro was more of a trial-and-error affair, in contrast to the Delhi Metro, which has also seen the involvement of numerous international consultants. As a result, it took nearly 23 years to completely construct a 17 km underground railway. Northward extension of Metro from Dum Dum upto Dakshineshwar (6.20 km) was sanctioned and included in Budget of 2010-11 at a cost of Rs.227.53 Cr. The work from Dum Dum to Noapara (2.09 km) was commissioned on 10.7.2013 and construction from Noapara to Dakshineshwar having an interchange with Line 5 at Baranagar (2.38 km) is being executed by RVNL. This section is expected to open in February 2020 and the projected ridership is 55000 by 2030.
The stations proposed in the section are as follows:
Signal Upgrade: Up-gradation of existing signalling system, from Indian Railways Signalling to Communication Based Train Control was planned by Metro Railway, Kolkata at a cost of Rs. 467 crores and the proposal was sent to Indian Railways recently, so that time interval between trains can be decreased to just 90 seconds, from 5 minutes. Railways gave a go ahead to the proposal, and installation work is supposed to be complete within 2-3 years.
(East-West / Sector V-Howrah Maidan)Edit
East-West Metro, a ₹4874.6 crore (US$750 million) project to connect Kolkata with Howrah by an underwater metro line, below the Hooghly river, was given the go-ahead by the central government. The length was supposed to be 14.67 km (8.9 km underground and 5.77 km elevated). This line will be constructed by a separate body named Kolkata Metro Rail Corporation (KMRC). But, from August, 2019 this line's operations were handed over to Metro Railway, Kolkata. Now the East-West Metro's majority stake is with the Indian Railways and the remainder is as a loan from the Japan Bank for International Cooperation.
The West Bengal government had earlier appointed Delhi Metro Rail Corporation Limited to conduct a feasibility study of the project, after which the government had to then put the project on hold due to funding issues. The underwater metro plan was thought of when the first metro service was inaugurated in Kolkata in 1984 by former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. The route is to cover 12 stations (6 elevated, 6 underground) and go under the river through a tunnel. The foundation stone was laid on 22 February 2009.
The construction of line 2 started in March 2009. However, the project was stalled several times due to land acquisition and slum relocation issues. A major realignment was done in June, 2016 which increased the length to 16.55 km (10.81 km underground, 5.77 km elevated). The proposed intersection with Line 1 and Line 3 will be at Esplanade. The delays along with foreign currency losses has led to an 80% cost escalation of the project to nearly ₹9000 crore (US$1.5 billion).
The East-West Metro will run from Salt Lake Sector 5 (in the east) to Howrah Maidan (in the west). Phase I of the project from Sector V to Saltlake Stadium and a distance of about 6 km is expected to be operational by October, 2019. Phase II of the project between Phoolbagan and Howrah Maidan, a distance of 7 km is expected to be operational by 2021.
Between Lal Dighi and Howrah Station, the metro will run under the Hooghly River – the first underwater metro in India. The line will be elevated between Salt Lake Sector 5 and Salt Lake Stadium and the remaining stretch will be underground. Transfer stations will be located at Sealdah and Howrah. A new elevated extension from Central Park to Teghoria (Haldiram) has been sanctioned, a distance of 5.5 km at a budget of ₹674 crore. But now the plan is changed and the line will be directed extended from Salt Lake Sector 5. From Teghoria (Haldiram), the passengers can take the Line 6 metro (VIP Road Station) to Dum Dum Airport. The stations in the new extension are
- Dum Dum Park
- Teghoria (Haldiram) (Intersection with VIP Road Station of Line 6)
Currently the BEML rakes have went through thorough testing along with the safety checks of the stations,and also the testing of signals and route interlocking. The Kolkata Metro Line 2 is expected to commence its commercial operations soon, from Salt Lake Sector-V Metro Station to Salt Lake Stadium metro station , if not Phoolbagan metro station.
The work has been sanctioned in 2010-11 for new Metro line from Joka to BBD Bagh for a length of 16.72 km at an anticipated cost of Rs. 2619.02 Crores. But, later the route was shortened and planned to terminate at Esplanade. The proposed alignment runs along Diamond Harbour Road, Khidirpur Road and Jawaharlal Nehru Road which are major arterial roads of Kolkata and has passenger interchange facilities with the North South Metro at Park Street and Esplanade Stations. A separate Depot is under construction at Joka (Banogram Sakharipota). It is being built by RVNL and the tender has gone to Simplex Infrastructures. The extension of this line to IIM and Diamond Park for 2 km has been sanctioned in the Budget of 2012-13 at a cost of Rs. 294.49 Cr. The execution of this work has been entrusted to RVNL.
There are 3 phases in this line-
- Joka to Majerhat (Under construction)
- Majerhat to Esplanade (After completion of phase 1)
- Joka to Diamond park (After completion of phase 2)
- Diamond Park 0.00 km (Phase 3)
- IIM 1.00 km (Phase 3)
- Joka 2.00 km (Phase 1)
- Thakurpukur 3.45 km (Phase 1)
- Sakherbazar 4.67 km (Phase 1)
- Behala Chowrasta 6.12 km (Phase 1)
- Behala Bazar 7.46 km (Phase 1)
- Taratala 8.49 km (Phase 1)
- Majerhat 9.74 km (Phase 1)
- Mominpur 10.755 km (Phase 2)
- Khidirpur 11.87 km (Phase 2)
- Victoria 14.025 km (Phase 2)
- Park Street (Intersection with Line 1) 15.29 km (Phase 2)
- Esplanade (Intersection With Line 1 and Line 2).16.215 km (Phase 2)
The proposed Esplanade station will not be the same as that of Line 1 (North-South Metro) but a completely different station which will also serve Line 2. Park Street will also serve as an interchange between Line 3 and Line 1. There is a proposal of extending the route from Esplanade to Mahakaran.
The work of integration of the line of Circular Railway from Dum Dum Cantt. to Biman Bandar along with construction of new line from Noapara to Dum Dum Cantt. for 6.249 km line was sanctioned and included in the budget of 2010-11. The cost of the project is Rs 184.83 Cr. Eastward extension from Biman Bandar to Barasat for 10.627 km was sanctioned and included in the budget of 2010-11. The cost of the project is Rs 2397.72 Cr. The execution of this project from Noapara to Barasat is being done by Metro Railway, Kolkata.
The proposed stations on this route are
- Noapara (Intersection with Line 1) 0.000 km
- Dum Dum Cantonment 2.835 km
- Jessore Road 5.125 km
- Biman Bandar (Intersection with Line 6) 6.249 km
- Birati 7.810 km
- Michel nagar 9.000 km
- New Barrackpore 10.250 km
- Madhyamgram 12.310 km
- Hridaypur 14.930 km
- Barasat 16.876 km
The route was further reworked and a new station has been proposed at Michael Nagar. This stretch will be underground till New Barrackpore Station, after objection from AAI, Now the New Garia line will continue till Barasat and the Noapara-Airport line will terminate at Biman Bandar (Dum Dum Airport).
The Baranagar-Barrackpore Line is the northward extension from Baranagar to Barrackpore (12.40 km) was sanctioned at a cost of Rs 2069.6 Cr. in the budget of 2010-11. This line was meant to enable a quick commute from the northern suburbs to South Kolkata. The work of extension of Metro beyond Noapara upto Barrackpore is to be executed by RVNL. As of February 2015, however, this project was unlikely to be executed as metro construction would affect the water pipelines along Barrackpore Trunk Road. To avoid this, another proposal was made to continue this line through the Kalyani Expressway.
Eleven metro stations were planned on this route. The stations are -
- Baranagar 0.00 km
- Kamarhati 1.20 km
- Agarpara 2.80 km
- Panihati 4.20 km
- Sodepur 5.40 km
- Subhash Nagar 6.50 km
- Khardaha 7.90 km
- Titagarh 8.80 km
- Tata Gate 10.10 km
- Talpukur 11.40 km
- Barrackpore 12.40 km
There is a proposal to continue this line through the Kalyani Expressway.
(Kavi Subhash– Biman Bandar Metro)Edit
A connection between New Garia and the Airport (29.87 km) via E M Bypass, Saltlake and Rajarhat-New Town has started; it will help to reduce travel time between the southern fringes of Kolkata to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport. The work on this New Garia-Dum Dum Airport line was inaugurated by Mamata Banerjee on 7 February 2011 with a project deadline of six years. The link between Kavi Subhas (New Garia) and the airport, to be set up at a cost of Rs 4 billion, will have 24 stations with the terminal Airport station being an underground one.
The stations, as declared of now, will be named after eminent personalities.
- Kavi Subhash (Intersection with Line 1) 0.00 km
- Satyajit Ray 1.59 km
- Jyotirindra Nath Nandy 2.98 km
- Kavi Sukanta 4.07 km
- Hemanta Mukherjee 5.12 km
- VIP Bazar 6.36 km
- Ritwik Ghatak 7.30 km
- Barun Sengupta 8.23 km
- Beliaghata 9.50 km
- Gour Kishore Ghosh 11.17 km
- Nicco Park 12.57 km
- Saltlake Sector V (Intersection with Line 2) 14.02 km
- Technopolis 15.15 km
- Bidhan Nagar 16.22 km
- Sub CBD-1 17.55 km
- CBD-1 18.69 km
- Kala Kshetra 20.07 km
- New Town 20.91 km
- Convention Center 22.17 km
- Sub CBD-2 23.37 km
- Titumir 24.25 km
- Rabindra Tirtha 26.34 km
- VIP Road/Teghoria (Haldiram) (Intersection with Line 2) 27.88 km
- Biman Bandar (Intersection with Line 4) 29.87 km
- Kavi Subhash - Baruipur (on EM Bypass)
- Santragachi - Shalimar - Howrah Maidan (on Kona Expressway and Foreshore Road)
- Bally Halt - Chandannagar
- Barrackpore to Kalyani City via Kalyani Highway
- Joka to Diamond Harbour along Diamond Harbour Road
- Madhyamgram to Barrackpore via Sodepur Road and Kalyani Expressway
- Barasat to Barrackpore via State Highway - II
- Basirhat to Mahanayak Uttam Kumar (Tollygunge), Kavi Subhash (New Garia) via Harua and Bhangar
- Majherhat to Ruby via kalighat & Ballygunje
Owners and OperatorsEdit
There are 2 authorities for operations and other stuffs of Kolkata Metro.
|Metro Railway, Kolkata||Line 1, 3, 4, 5, 6||Line 2 (from Oct 2019)|
|Kolkata Metro Rail Corporation||Line 2||Line 2 (till Oct 2019)|
The rolling stock of Kolkata Metro Line 1 uses Indian gauge a broad gauge track which is manufactured by Integral Coach Factory, Chennai (ICF), and the electrical components are manufactured by NGEF, Bangalore. Initially, the rolling stock fleet was composed of 4-car rakes. Over the years there has been considerable expansion to the network, both underground and on elevated sections. With the increase in traffic, 8-car rake formation has become a standard for the Kolkata Metro. Out of the 18 Non AC rakes, 11 will be phased out gradually since they have outlived their normal life of 25 years. The remaining 7 rakes are still in good condition so they are refurbished and put into service in a phased manner, to fulfil the rake shortage.
Stations and electrificationEdit
Kolkata metro has 24 stations, 15 of which are underground, 7 are elevated and 2 stations are at grade. All the underground stations have island platforms except Park Street which has side platforms. While all the elevated stations have side platforms, Noapara has island platforms and since it will be the hub station for Line 1 and Line 4 it has 4 platforms having a length of 182m. The standard length of platforms in Kolkata Metro is 170m. The metro stations of Gitanjali & Netaji have the shortest platforms of 163m. The average length between any two stations is 1.14 km. The shortest distance is 0.597 km between Central and Chandni Chowk, whereas the longest distance is 2.15 km between Dum Dum and Belgachia. Since the electrification of Kolkata metro is of the 3rd Rail, 750 V DC, electricity substations were built in Jatin Das Park, Central, Shyambazar. The type of tracks are ballast-less with M1A track fittings.
Signalling and frequencyEdit
Kolkata metro trains operate on typical Indian Railways automatic signalling technology. A Route Relay Interlocking System has been provided at Mahanayak Uttam Kumar and Noapara carshed and are in operation to facilitate the prompt withdrawal and injection of rakes as well as performing shunting operations inside the car shed, required for maintenance purposes. Train Protection & Warning System(TPWS) is provided on the entire stretch of the Metro Railway. This system is designed to prevent collision caused by human (operator) error. Train Describer System and Auto Train Charting have also been provided to help the operartion control centre to monitor and plan train movement on a real-time basis.
The Metro Railway operates between 06:45 and 21:55 hours, running every 7 minutes and every 5 minutes during peak hours on weekdays. Metro runs on Sundays between the hours of 09:50 to 21:55 hours. A number of 270 trains run every day during weekdays, 205 on Saturdays and 92 on Sundays.
Up-gradation of existing signalling system, from Indian Railways Signalling to Communication Based Train Control was planned by Metro Railway, Kolkata at a cost of Rs. 467 crores and the proposal was sent to Indian Railways recently, so that time interval between trains can be decreased to just 90 seconds from 5 minutes. Railways gave a go ahead to the proposal, and installation work is supposed to be complete within 2-3 years.
The Kolkata Metro provides seats in every compartment which are reserved for women and senior citizens. Though most Metro stations are equipped with air conditioners and water coolers there are some stations like Central is not fully air-conditioned and also a few metro rakes are air-conditioned.
The following is the revised zones and fare for a single journey tokens as well as for a Smart Card w.e.f. 07.11.2013 for Line 1.
|Zone||Distance (KM)||Fare (₹)|
|I||0 – 5||5.00|
|II||> 5 – 10||10.00|
|III||> 10 – 15||15.00|
|IV||> 15 - 20||15.00|
|V||> 20 – 25||20.00|
|VI||> 25 – 30||25.00|
The following is the zones and fare for a single journey tokens as well as for a Smart Card w.e.f. 15.02.2019 for Line 2.
|Zone||Distance (KM)||Fare (₹)|
|I||0 – 2||5.00|
|II||> 2 – 5||10.00|
|III||> 5 – 10||20.00|
|IV||> 10 - 20||30.00|
After using the magnetic ticketing system for 27 years from 1984 to 2011, Kolkata Metro introduced Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) tokens by Centre for Railway Information Systems (CRIS) from 2011. The old magnetic strip reader gates were replaced by new RFID readers.
After introducing RFID tokens, Kolkata metro introduced a Smart Card service introduced by Centre for Railway Information Systems (CRIS). Earlier, 4 different types of smart cards, i.e. Minimum Multi Ride (MMR), Limited Multi Ride (LMR), General Multi Ride (GMR) and Extended Multi Ride (EMR) were used. They were withdrawn w.e.f. 07.11.2013 and a single type of Smart Card (General Smart Card) was introduced. Two new types of Tourist Smart Cards were also introduced (Tourist Smart Card – I and Tourist Smart Card – II).
- General Smart Card
|Recharge Value of
the Smart Card (₹)
|Ride Value (₹)|
- Tourist Smart Card
|Types of Tourist
Smart Card (₹)
|No. of rides
Card – I
in one day
Card – II
in three days
- Drinking water taps (88)
- Water Cooler (51)
- Automatic Card recharge machines (1)
- Escalators (75)
- Lifts (12)
- Chairs for Senior Citizen & Physically Challenged (867)
- Kiosks stalls (28)
- Train Timings indication Boards (242)
- PA systems (24)
- infotainment displays/TVs
- Directional signage
- ATMs (23)
- CCTVs (180)
- Wheel chairs (28)
- Chemist Stall (1)
All stations are equipped with closed-circuit cameras, metal detectors and baggage scanners, making the metro one of the safest form of transport in Kolkata. Taking photographs and smoking are strictly prohibited in the metro premises.
Kolkata Metro snapshotEdit
|Stations||Length (km)||Ridership (in millions)|
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