The Kochi Metro launched the trial run on the new stretch between Petta and SN Junction in Tripunithura on Friday, 20th May 2022. The trial began after a successful track and speed test on the 1.8 km stretch. Signalling work too has been completed on the route, said a Kochi Metro official.
Consisting of two new stations, Vadakkekotta and SN Junction, the Petta-SN Junction stretch is part of the Phase 1 (A) extension of the elevated urban rail network. The official said the metro trains — after completing the journey and de-boarding passengers at Petta — will run till SN Junction and return. “The trial run will continue for a few days. Permanent services on the stretch will begin only after the Metro rail safety commissioner’s inspection. The work remaining at the two stations is progressing,” said the Kochi Metro official.
The number of metro stations will now rise to 24 from 22. Vadakkekotta, with an area of 4.3 lakh sq ft, will be the biggest station on the Kochi Metro network. Also, the SN Junction station is being built in one of the largest residential zones in the district. “With the Metro station coming up, the issue of unavailability of land in the area for commercial purposes is set to be resolved. Of an area of 95,000 sq ft at the SN Junction station, as much as 29,300 sq ft will be made available to entrepreneurs and businessmen,” said the official.
The space at the two stations could be used to set up offices, coffee shops, gift shops, supermarkets and art galleries. Pre-licensing of the shops has also begun. The Petta-SN Junction stretch is the first one built fully under KMRL, with the construction having begun in October 2019. Though Covid lockdown affected the work, KMRL has been able to complete the work at the earliest, the official said. While the total construction cost Rs 453 crore, the land for the stations was purchased for Rs 99 crore.