TÜV India to inspect trains for the Montreal Metro

27 May 2021 | Industrial Services: Fully automated and braving the cold temperatures - TÜV India supervises the demanding production.

Chennai: Fully automated and braving the cold temperatures, a new metro system is being installed in Montreal, Canada. Alstom is building the 212 rail cars in Sri City, India. TÜV India supervises the demanding production.

Montreal is setting an example in transport policy: Starting in 2022, a new driverless metro network is to go into operation in stages and have a line length of 67 kilometres with 26 stations by 2024. The Réseau express métropolitain will then be the fourth longest automated transport system in the world. TÜV India’s railway technology experts are involved in the production of the 212 rail cars. These will be manufactured by Alstom Transportation India, located in Sri City in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. It is a special economic and free trade zone in which more than 180 international companies have settled since its establishment in 2008.

Careful inspection of the materials and the weld seams

To get to the factory, TÜV India’s Jayesh Patel has to travel 80 kilometres. The expert for the assessment of rail vehicles has his office in Chennai in the neighbouring state of Tamil Nadu. He travels this route frequently: his job is to accompany the production of the Metropolis-type rail cars. "This includes inspections of the weld seams as well as non-destructive testing of the material and the weld seams for the rail cars," says Jayesh Patel. The body of the rail cars is made of stainless steel. "This is very important because of the climatic conditions," he emphasises: the rail cars are to be designed for the wide temperature range of –38°C to +38°C. TÜV India is to harmonise the customer's technical requirements with Canadian regulations and thus make the rolling stock safe for use – in short: quality assurance.

Accurate inspection of the materials and the weld seams

The 40-year-old Jayesh Patel is an all-rounder and yet a specialist: He has a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering, is an internal environmental management auditor, is familiar with metallurgy and welding technology, was quality manager and engineer for welding technology in the railway industry, to name just a few qualifications and stations in his professional life. He has supervised railway projects in India and Australia – and now in Canada. All of this was a decisive factor in TÜV India being awarded the contract for the work in this project.

With the highest degree of automation under high voltage

Another special feature of the railway in Montreal: the traction current will be 1,500 volts and will be picked up by current collectors on the carriages; the danger of icing would be too great with a power supply laid close to the ground. The high voltage is necessary to use a three-kilometre bridge over the St Lawrence River without additional substations on the bridge. TÜV India is monitoring compliance with the power supply testing protocol at the Alstom plant in India.

The railways in Montreal will be fully automated, it is a railway system with the highest level of automation GoA4 (driverless). Very modern, yet old hat for the city on the St Lawrence River: Montreal had a fully automated railway once before, set up for 1967 Expo, but it was discontinued a few years later.

"We've been looking into it since September 2019," Jayesh Patel tells us, "and we'll be doing it until September 2023, when the last rail cars are due to be delivered to Canada." The first rail cars have already arrived in Montreal and experienced their first Canadian winter – as has the Indian engineer who was in Montreal for a month to finalize technical details with the clients. "It was really very cold," he admits, "but it was also a great experience to have felt those low temperatures for once himself." In the end, however, he was glad that Chennai welcomed him back with pleasant warmth – and hot food.


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Annika Burchard Corporate Communications

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