I hung around at the Byappanahalli depot Sunday afternoon, hoping to get a ride on the first full trial run of Bangalore’s most-awaited public transport on its Reach-1. No journalist was invited.
But I managed to make myself part of the crowd comprising Metro employees and their relatives. All of us got on to the train, admiring its swanky interiors. The run was to check the various parameters - tracks, power lines, power supply and the third rail. A small problem delayed the start at 3 pm, but the civil engineers sorted it out and the three-car train finally took off at 4.19 pm on the ‘down track’.
Over 200 happy people, including Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) Managing Director N Sivasailam and his family, jumped in jubilation as we left the depot.
The train chugged along. By 4.21 pm, it was Old Madras Road. The ride was smooth, and the interiors were comfortable, and one missed the the usual sounds of a train amid the excited hubbub from the Metro family.
Excitement on rooftops
Outside, one could see people lined up on the rooftops all along the tracks, some waving, some gesturing, some pointing at the train, and all excited.
We reached Ulsoor and had to wait for about 40 minutes. A civil engineering problem had to be addressed. That done, we moved forward again. From Ulsoor to Trinity Circle, it took a small eternity. But it was only due to small glitches, none concerning the security or the running of the train technically.
At 7.02 pm, we finally reached M G Road to a huge, unplanned reception from admiring onlookers, at 7.02 pm.
The return journey, it was learnt, was one without glitches and the Metro was back in Byappanahalli in just 15 minutes.