IIT-Madras to train Metro Rail Engineers

CHENNAI: Even as the city’s metro rail network is set to expand with phase-2 of the project, Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL) is preparing to provide specialised training to its new recruits and train future engineers on the industry know-how.

A team of 15 engineers, selected by CMRL, will be trained at IIT-Madras starting from August 2017 before being inducted. Metro rail has also started in-plant training for engineering students on the tender and bidding process.
Officials said 15 civil engineering graduates recruited for the post of executive trainee (civil) will take up a PG diploma course in metro rail technology and management for a year. While the course is sponsored by CMRL, candidates will be trained by IIT-M professors.

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The programme, which was first launched in 2012, was suspended for two years before it was revived this academic year.

“Metro technology is quite different from railway technology. There is a lot of automation. Most of the operations are through software. Freshers will not be able to handle work directly. They need specialised training to be employed,” said a railway official.

Simultaneously, CMRL is providing in-plant training for engineering students on the nuances in the industry particularly the process of inviting tenders and bidding. Engineers, despite their technical expertise, are expected to take up administrative tasks like inviting bids in public sector undertakings. Students from six colleges participated in the training classes conducted by CMRL recently.

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For the diploma course, CMRL signed a MoU with IIT-M to frame a specialised curriculum and train the candidates. Metro rail officials said while they have enough manpower for phase-1 of the project, such recruitment and training is timely as CMRL has begun work for phase-2 which covers 107km, more than double the distance covered by phase-1. Further, phase-2 will be predominantly underground.

The curriculum was framed in consultation with CMRL and is tailormade to suit the technical requirements of the project, which may include designing and construction of columns and stations for elevated corridors as well as tunnels and stations for underground stretches.