|Maharashtra . India
Nagpur, city (3.5 million inh.) in eastern Maharashtra, some 700 km east of Mumbai.
2-line elevated metro system under construction since 2015 totalling 41.7 km:
"Orange Line" Automotive Square Metro City; 19.7 km; 18 stations
2019: Sitabuldi - Khapri (13.5 km - limited service)
Operated by Maharashtra Metro Rail Corporation (Maha Metro).
"Aqua Line" Lokmanya Nagar Prajapati Nagar; 18.6 km; 20 stations
Jan 2020: Lokmanya Nagar - Sitabuldi (9.7 km,
6 stations only)
Phase 2 will add 48.3 km of elevated route and 35 stations:
north-south line extended north by 13 km from Automotive Square to Kanhan
Nagpur Metro Rail (Official Website)
Nagpur Metro at Wikipedia
Nagpur Metro Project (TheMetroRailGuy blog)
In May 2019, Craig Moore reports from Nagpur:
The Nagpur Metro is an 11.8km incomplete line, running from the southern terminus of Khapari to the new industrial zone at Sitabuldi, in the south of the city centre. In the south the line is at grade, running parallel to Indian Railways lines but is elevated after Airport South. The Metro is operated by Maha Metro which is a jointly owned body (Maharashtra state and the National Government) responsible for all metro activity in the state excluding Mumbai (Maha Metro will also run Pune Metro when operational). The line uses standard gauge and overhead supply.
At first sight, it is clear that this is a Metro that opened in a rush. The stations are incomplete and there is lots of building work taking place, gaps in the sides of stations, limited access and they currently only have one train. This means that services are limited (3 services in morning and three in evening with 90min gaps between these group services. However, it would be churlish to judge this system based on its current offer as it is also apparent that this will be an impressive Metro.
Stations are all of a large scale but vary along the way with some impressive designs and architectural styles the bold orange of the line being a constant. There is on-street signage and a large totem with the lovely orange logo. The station names are large and bold, again the orange making them distinctive. Airport station is possibly the pick of the stations at the moment but all are impressive note that this station is not actually at the airport but at the junction of the airport road (1.2km to terminal). Stations have security, modern ticket gates, ticket office (no machines) and a smart information board with schematic map. Tickets cost 10-20 Rupees and come in paper form with QR code. There is good signage (Hindi, Marathi, English) and the orange-dark teal tones are everywhere it looks very smart. The side platforms are topped by arched roofs and have RTI (currently inoperable). The platform walls and pillars are tiled with pale orange/bold orange tiles and everything is very clean and shiny. There is an army of staff at all stations who meander about and make sure everything is in order and of course, they have that lovely Indian charm.
The rolling stock (singular) is of three cars with the first car reserved for females. The trains run pretty empty. The staff informed me that the stock was from CRRC but there is a Rotem plate (2015) on the interior and exterior so I am not sure, but I was told that the future stock is being built domestically at BEML. The train has a colourfully painted exterior with images and bold orange band and is very smart. The interior has metallic seating with orange end plates and grab bars. The ceiling has a nice colourful design and the glass panels at the end of the seats has a tree motif. There is no advertising, no strip map, and no system map, but there are large dynamic LCD screens, which currently just show artists impressions of stations. Audio information in Hindi, Marathi and English and the trains are really lovely and have a bright fresh feel about them they do run very slowly though (43min for the entire 12km journey).
So although the Nagpur Metro is just establishing itself, it is apparent that this is a metro with some style - a smart, bold brand, stylish stations and lovely rolling stock. Once the system is fully constructed and operational there will no doubt be wear and tear, but it will be an interesting system to watch out for. At a broader level too, Nagpur confirms that there is a trend in Indian metro development with some of the more recent openings (e.g. Kochi, Lucknow) really taking design and service forward.