Urban rail transit in India

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Urban rail transit in India consists of suburban rail, rapid transit, monorail, light rail, and tram systems.


Rapid Transit (Metro)

There are currently 13 operational rapid transit (also called 'metro') systems in 13 cities in India. For instance, the Delhi Metro itself is connected to few other nearby cities in the National Capital Region. [1] As of January 2021, India has 760.62 kilometres (472.63 miles ) of operational metro lines and 540 stations. [2] A further 578.34 km of lines are under construction. Metro rail lines in India are composed of mainly standard gauge. Projects like the Kolkata Metro and Delhi Metro used broad gauge for their earliest lines but all new projects in India are on standard gauge as rolling stock is of standard gauge.

Apart from the Kolkata metro (which forms its own zone of Indian Railways), these rapid transit metro lines are not operated by Indian Railways, but by separate local authorities. In addition to their metro systems, the cities of Chennai and Hyderabad have mass transit systems operated by the Indian Railways, known as the Chennai MRTS and the Hyderabad MMTS, respectively.

The first rapid transit system in India is the Kolkata Metro, which started operations in 1984. The Delhi Metro has the largest network in the entire country. [3]

In 2006, the National Urban Transport Policy proposed the construction of a metro rail system in every city with a population of 20 lakh (2 million). [4] [5] On 11 August 2014, Union Government announced that it would provide financial assistance, for the implementation of a metro rail system, to all Indian cities having a population of more than 1 million. [6] [7] In May 2015, the Union Government approved the Union Urban Development Ministry's proposal to implement metro rail systems in 50 cities. The majority of the planned projects will be implemented through special purpose vehicles, which will be established as 50:50 joint ventures between the Union and respective State Government. The Union Government will invest an estimated 5 lakh crore (US$70 billion). [8] [9] In a new draft policy unveiled in March 2017, the Central Government stated that it wanted state governments to consider metro rail as the "last option" and implement it only after considering all other possible mass rapid transit systems. The decision was taken due to the high cost of constructing metro rail systems. [10] In August 2017, the Union Government announced that it would not provide financial assistance to new metro rail project, unless some sort of private partnership is involved. [11] [12] [13]

During the 2020 pandemic, metros across the country were shut down from 22 March 2020 and resumed operations on 7 September 2020.[ citation needed ]

System length (km)No of lines [lower-alpha 1] No of stations [lower-alpha 2] Gauge Traction Notes
Kolkata Metro Kolkata West Bengal 24 October 198438.56101.8617.9 [14] [15] 233 1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in) broad gauge
1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in) standard gauge
750 V DC Third rail First metro in India. It is the first in India to have the third rail for power supply and the first to use fully metro coaches made in India by ICF & BEML. The only metro system in India fully owned & operated by Indian Railways
Delhi Metro Delhi






Delhi, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh 24 December 2002389 [16] 68.65 [17] 77.838 250 1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in) broad gauge
1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in) standard gauge
25 kV AC OHEIndia's largest rapid transit/metro system.
Namma Metro Bengaluru Karnataka 20 October 201148.92124.57246 1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in) standard gauge 750 V DC Third rail First metro in southern India, the first to have the third rail for power supply in southern India, and the first to introduce Wi-Fi onboard trains. [18]
Rapid Metro Gurgaon Gurugram Haryana 14 November 201311.71 12 1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in) standard gauge 750 V DC Third rail India's first fully privately financed metro. In October 2019, Delhi Metro Rail Corporation took over operations.
Mumbai Metro Mumbai Maharashtra 8 June 201411.4193.82151.751 12 1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in) standard gauge25 kV AC OHEIndia's first public private partnership (PPP) metro system with Reliance group. 14 lines and line extensions are at different stages of execution.
Jaipur Metro Jaipur Rajasthan 3 June 201512023.011 9 1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in) standard gauge25 kV AC OHEDouble-story elevated road and Metro track project for the first time in the country.
Chennai Metro Chennai Tamil Nadu 29 June 201554.2118.9 km (In process), 15.3 km (In phase 1 extension) and 25 km (MRTS conversion).2 40 1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in) standard gauge25 kV AC OHEFirst metro rail in the country to connect two lines (blue & green) through loop line to run direct service from the airport to central even though had interchange station at Alandur. First metro in India for underground stations with sliding doors.
Kochi Metro Kochi Kerala 17 June 2017 [19] 25.62.92 11.21 22 1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in) standard gauge 750 V DC Third rail First Indian metro to go live with CBTC signalling. [20]
Lucknow Metro Lucknow Uttar Pradesh 5 September 201723.711.10 1401 21 1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in) standard gauge 25 kV AC OHE The fastest built and commissioned metro system in the world. [21] [22] [23] Opened to the public on 5 September 2017. [24] [25] [26]
Hyderabad Metro Hyderabad


Telangana 29 November 2017 [27] 69 [28] 4.7623 57 1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in) standard gauge 25 kV AC OHE India's first metro to have CBTC and integrated telecommunications and supervision systems, i.e. driver less metro. It is the largest Public Private Partnership metro project in the world. (90% of the cost has been taken up by Larsen and Toubro and 10% of the cost is being taken up by the Government of Telangana) Currently the second largest metro system in India. [29]
Noida Metro Noida

Greater Noida

Uttar Pradesh 25 January 201929.7151 22 1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in) standard gauge 25 kV AC OHE Currently undertaken by Delhi Metro
Ahmedabad Metro Ahmedabad Gujarat 6 March 2019 [30] 6.5 [31] 40.03 [32] 28.26 [33] [34] 16 1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in) standard gauge 750 V DC Third rail Inaugurated by PM Narendra Modi on 4 March 2019.
Nagpur Metro Nagpur Maharashtra 8 March 2019 [35] 2418.59325 1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in) standard gauge 25 kV AC OHE Inaugurated by PM Narendra Modi on 7 March 2019.
Navi Mumbai Metro

Navi Mumbai

Maharashtra 2021 [36] 11.1012.30 [37] 1201,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in) standard gauge25 kV AC OHEEight sets of 3 cars train arrived at Metro depot at taloja from China [38]
Pune Metro Pune Maharashtra 2021 [39] 54.5823 1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in) standard gauge25 kV AC


Construction began in May 2017. 30% work completed as of June 2018. [40]
Kanpur Metro Kanpur Uttar Pradesh December 2021 [41] 2438224 1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in) standard gauge25 kv AC OHEConstruction work began in December 2019. [25] Priority corridor expected to be operational by Jan 2022. [42]
Meerut Metro Meerut Uttar Pradesh 2024 [43] 1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in) standard gaugeN/ALine 1 mergerd with RRTS

and under construction

Bhoj Metro [44] Bhopal Madhya Pradesh 2023 [45] 27.87125230 1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in) standard gauge 25 kV AC Construction began in December 2018.[ citation needed ]
Indore Metro Indore Madhya Pradesh August 2023 [46] 31.55123130 1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in) standard gauge 25 kV AC Foundation stone laid on 14 September 2019. [46]
Patna Metro Patna Bihar 2024 [47] 6.124.9224 1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in) standard gauge 25 kV AC OHE Construction is expected to begin by March 2020. [48]
Agra Metro Agra Uttar Pradesh 2024 [41]


27 [49]



1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in) standard gauge 750 V DC Third rail Construction began on December 7, 2020. [50]
Surat Metro Surat Gujarat 2024 [51] 40.35238 1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in) standard gaugeN/APrime Minister Narendra Modi laid down foundation stone of Surat Metro on January 18, 2021. Construction is expected to complete by early 2024. [52]
Dehradun Metro Dehradun Uttarakhand 73 [53] [54] [55] [56]
Kozhikode Light Metro


Kerala 27.41227Under Planning
Trivandrum Metro


Kerala 27.41227Under Planning
Srinagar Metro Srinagar Jammu & Kashmir 2024 [57] 25224N/AN/AConstruction will start from 2020. [58]
Jammu Metro Jammu Jammu & Kashmir 202443.5240N/AN/AConstruction will start from 2020.
Guwahati Metro Guwahati Assam 61.4TBDN/ADPR approved by the state cabinet. [59]
Gorakhpur Metro Gorakhpur Uttar Pradesh 202427.41227Approved by the State Cabinet on 9 October 2020. [60]
Vijayawada Metro


Andhra Pradesh 62 1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in) standard gaugeN/A [61] The new government proposed a new project besides the old government project.
Visakhapatnam Metro


Andhra Pradesh 80 1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in) standard gaugeN/A [61] The new government extended the project limits to 80 km in January 2020.
Coimbatore Metro Coimbatore Tamil Nadu 144524 1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in) standard gauge 25 kv AC


Currently under planning, soon construction begins. Detailed Feasibility Report (DFR) completed. State Government allocated funds of ₹6,683 crores. [62] To be constructed by CMRL [63]
Thane Metro Thane Maharashtra 29122 1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in) standard gauge 25 kV AC OHE Proposed
Greater Gwalior Metro Gwalior Madhya Pradesh 105N/AN/ASubject to a feasibility study. [64]
Jabalpur Metro Jabalpur Madhya Pradesh N/AN/ASubject to a feasibility study. [64]
Bareilly Metro Bareilly Uttar Pradesh Proposed
Prayagraj Metro Prayagraj Uttar Pradesh Proposed
Varanasi Metro Varanasi Uttar Pradesh 13113 1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in) standard gaugeN/A [65] proposed
Jhansi Metro Jhansi Uttar Pradesh Proposed
Ranchi Metro Ranchi Jharkhand Proposed
Cuttack Bhubaneswar Metro Bhubaneswar
Odisha Proposed
Vadodara Metro rail Vadodara Gujarat gujrat metro rail corporation planning metro train line in vadodaraProposed
Jodhpur Metro Jodhpur Rajasthan 351In 2013, It was first Proposed but rejected because of infeasibility.In 2021, It was proposed to built Metro Line between 2030-2040 [66]
Jamshedpur Metro Jamshedpur Jharkhand Proposed
Chandigarh Metro Chandigarh Tricity Punjab 37.5Rejected because of commercial viability.



Western Railway Elevated Corridor Mumbai Maharashtra 63.27Rejected because of infeasibility.


Ludhiana Metro Ludhiana Punjab 28.83Rejected due to lack of funds


Meerut Metro Meerut Uttar Pradesh 2024 [68] 1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in) standard gaugeN/Ato be mergerd with RRTS

Converted to other projects

Skybus Metro


Goa 25 September 20041.610.51N/AN/A450V-1500V D.C. Third rail Project Failure.

First Metro to completely Defunct and Scrapped After Operation.

Often portrayed as Monorail.

Suburban Rail

Suburban rail plays a major role in the public transport system of many major Indian cities. These services are operated by Indian Railways. Suburban rail is a rail service between a central business district and the suburbs, a conurbation or other locations that draw large numbers of people on a daily basis. The trains are called suburban trains. These trains are also referred to as "local trains" or "locals". The suburban rail systems in Hyderabad, Pune, Lucknow–Kanpur and Bengaluru do not have dedicated suburban tracks but share tracks with long-distance trains. The suburban rail system of Chennai and Mumbai have both dedicated tracks and tracks shared with long-distance trains.

The first suburban rail system in India is Mumbai Suburban Railway which started operations in 1853. The Kolkata Suburban Railway has the largest network in the entire country. The Chennai Suburban Railway started its operations in 1931.

Suburban trains that handle commuter traffic are all electric multiple units (EMUs). They usually have nine or twelve coaches, sometimes even fifteen to handle rush hour traffic. One unit of an EMU train consists of one power car and two general coaches. Thus a nine coach EMU is made up of three units having one power car at each end and one at the middle. The rakes in the suburban rails run on 25 kV AC. [69] Ridership on India's suburban railways has risen from 1.2 million in 1970–71 to 4.4 million in 2012–13. The suburban railways of Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai account for about 7.1% of the Indian Railways 20819.3  million train kilometres but contribute 53.2% of all railway passengers. [70] In some cities of India, the opening of rapid transit systems have led to a decline in the use of the suburban rail system.

SystemCityStateOpening yearSystem length (km)No of linesNo of stations Gauge Traction Notes
Mumbai Suburban Railway Mumbai Maharashtra 16 April 1853427.56140 1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in) broad gauge 25 kV AC
First suburban railway
Kolkata Suburban Railway Kolkata West Bengal 15 August 18542818 [71] 25585 [71] 1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in) broad gauge 25 kV AC
Largest suburban railway
Chennai Suburban Railway Chennai Tamil Nadu 2 April 19315094294 1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in) broad gauge 25 kV AC
Second largest suburban railway in India and the largest in South India
Delhi Suburban Railway (excluding NCR) Delhi Delhi 1 October 197585-100 1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in) broad gauge 25 kV AC
Lucknow–Kanpur Suburban Railway Lucknow/Kanpur Uttar Pradesh Operational1082 1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in) broad gauge 25 kV AC


Barabanki–Lucknow Suburban Railway Lucknow Uttar Pradesh Operational2 1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in) broad gauge 25 kV AC


Pune Suburban Railway Pune Maharashtra 16 April 1978632 1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in) broad gauge 25 kV AC
Hyderabad Multi-Modal Transport System Hyderabad Telangana 9 August 200343336 1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in) broad gauge 25 kV AC
Pernem–Karwar Suburban Railway Goa
Goa, Karnataka 1 April 20151001 1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in) broad gauge Diesel
Bengaluru Commuter Rail Bengaluru Karnataka Under construction

Expected to begin operations by 2026 [72]

2004 1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in) broad gauge 25 kV AC
Approved by the Union Cabinet on 7 October 2020. [73]
Delhi–Alwar Regional Rapid Transit System Delhi
Delhi, Rajasthan Under construction16422 1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in) standard gauge 25 kV AC
Delhi–Meerut Regional Rapid Transit System Delhi
Delhi, Uttar Pradesh Under construction8216 1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in) standard gauge 25 kV AC
PM Modi laid the foundation stone on 8 March 2019
Ahmedabad Suburban Railway Ahmedabad Gujarat Planned52.962 1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in) broad gauge 25 kV AC
Nagpur Broad Gauge Metro Nagpur Maharashtra Planned268.634 [74] 1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in) broad gauge 25 kV AC
Suburban Railway Network operated by Metro Agency. DPR Approved by Railway Board [75] and Government of Maharashtra [76]
Delhi–Sonipat–Panipat Regional Rapid Transit System Delhi
Delhi, Haryana Planned10316 1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in) standard gauge 25 kV AC
Coimbatore Suburban Railway Coimbatore Tamil Nadu Proposed2 1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in) broad gauge 25 kV AC


The Mumbai Monorail, which opened on 2 February 2014, is the first operational monorail system used for rapid transit in independent India. [77] Many other Indian cities have monorail projects, as a feeder system to the metro, in different phases of planning.

SystemCityStateOpening yearSystem length (km)No of linesNo of stations Traction Notes
Mumbai Monorail Mumbai Maharashtra 2 February 201419.52117 750 V DC Third rail World's sixth longest monorail after Phase 2 opened on 3 March 2019.
Chennai Monorail Chennai Tamil Nadu 57337Centre approved Chennai monorail project, to be implemented under DBFOT model. [78] [79] [80] [81] [82]
Tiruchirappalli Monorail Tiruchirappalli Tamil Nadu 2Proposed.
Madurai Monorail


Tamil Nadu 7Proposed.
Kolkata Monorail Kolkata West Bengal 722


Paryagraj Uttar Pradesh 70.42
Kanpur Monorail Kanpur Uttar Pradesh 633
Aizawl Monorail Aizawl Mizoram
Jodhpur Monorail Jodhpur Rajasthan [83] [84] [85] [86] [87]
Kota Monorail Kota Rajasthan [83] [84] [85] [86] [87]
Warangal Monorail Warangal Telangana Proposed.
Chandigarh Monorail Chandigarh Tricity Chandigarh Proposed.
Shimla Monorail Shimla Himachal Pradesh Proposed
Coimbatore Monorail Coimbatore Tamil Nadu 5Proposed But converted to Metro

Light Rail (Metrolite)

Light rail (light rail transit/LRT) or Metrolite is a form of urban rail transit using rolling stock similar to a tramway, but operating at a higher capacity, and often on an exclusive right-of-way.

SystemCityStateOpening yearSystem length (km)No of linesNo of stations Gauge Traction Notes
Delhi Metrolite Delhi Delhi 20252022 1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in) standard gaugeOwned and operated by Delhi Metro
Greater Nashik Metro Nashik Maharashtra N/AN/ADPR being prepared by MahaMetro. [88]
Kolkata Light Rail Transit Kolkata West Bengal 212 1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in) standard gauge 750 V DC Third rail
Delhi Light Rail Transit Delhi Delhi 453
Chennai Light Rail Chennai Tamil Nadu


In addition to trains, trams were introduced in many cities in the late 19th century, though almost all of these were phased out. The Trams in Kolkata is currently the only tram system in the country.

SystemCityStateOpening yearSystem length (km)No of linesNo of stations Gauge Traction Notes
Kolkata Tram Kolkata West Bengal 1873286NA 1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in) standard gauge 550 V DC
The only operational tram system in India
Mumbai Tram Mumbai Maharashtra 1874Discontinued in 1964
Nashik Tram Nashik Maharashtra 1889762 mm (2 ft 6 in) narrow gauge Discontinued in 1931
Chennai Tram Chennai Tamil Nadu 1895 1000 mm (3 ft ⅜ in) metre gauge 550 V DC

OHE , Trolley pole

Discontinued in 1953
Patna Tram Patna Bihar Discontinued in 1903
Kanpur Tram Kanpur Uttar Pradesh 19076.04Discontinued on 16 May 1933
Kochi Tram Kochi Kerala 19071000 mm (3 ft ⅜ in) metre gauge Discontinued in 1963
Delhi Tram Delhi Delhi 1908Discontinued in 1963
Bhavnagar Tram Bhavnagar Gujarat 1926762 mm (2 ft 6 in) narrow gauge Discontinued in 1960s

Rolling Stock Manufacturers

There are three metro rolling stock manufacturers in India under the Union Government's Make in India program, 75% of the rolling stock procured for use on Indian metro systems are required to be manufactured in India. [89]

Bharat Earth Movers Limited (BEML)

BEML is a Bangaluru-based Public Sector Undertaking company that manufactures mining equipment, heavy engineering as well as metro rail coaches. It manufactures of Rolling Stock consortium with Hyundai, Mitsubishi, Rotem.

Bombardier India [Now, Alstom India]

Bombardier built a £26m factory in Savli, Gujarat after it won a contract to supply 614 cars to the Delhi Metro. [92] Production at Savli began in June 2009. [93] In June 2012, the plant won an order to supply semi-finished bogies to Australia. [93] In July 2020, Bombardier won a contract to supply 201 coaches along with the train control & signaling system for the Kanpur and Agra metro projects with extremely tight deadline of just 65 Weeks. [94]

Alstom India

In 2013, Alstom built a factory in Sri City, Andhra Pradesh after it won a €243 million contract to supply 168 cars to the Chennai Metro. [96] The 156-acre plant will be used to supply trains to cities in India and abroad. [97] It also provides signalling & telecommunications systems.

Integral Coach Factory (ICF)

Integral Coach Factory manufactures rolling stock (under Kolkata Urban Transit), ICF has manufactured "Medha Rakes" and is in the process of supplying them to various suburban systems.

Titagarh Firema

In 2019, Titagarh Firema was awarded the contract to supply 102 aluminium bodied metro rail coaches for the Pune Metro by Mahametro. [99]



The subject of Railways is in the Union List of the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution, giving Parliament the exclusive power to enact legislation concerning it. According to former Minister of Urban Development Kamal Nath, "Since the Metro rail is a central subject, it has been decided that all such projects in the country, whether within one municipal area or beyond, shall be taken up under the Central Metro Acts." [102]

Construction of metros in India is governed by the centrally enacted The Metro Railways (Construction of Works) Act, 1978 which defines itself as an act to provide for the construction of works relating to metro railways in the metropolitan cities and for matters connected therewith. [103] Operation and maintenance of metros are governed by The Delhi Metro Railway (Operation and Maintenance) Act, 2002. Both laws were amended in 2009 with the passing of The Metro Railways (Amendment) Act, 2009. [104] The amendment expanded the coverage of both the acts to all metropolitan areas of India.

Initially, state governments attempted to implement metro rail projects through various Tramways Act. However, the Commissioner of Railways Safety (CRS), who operates under the Ministry of Civil Aviation, is tasked with providing safety certification for metro rail projects. The CRS refused safety certification unless the projects were implemented under a Metro Act enacted by the state government and published in The Gazette of India. [105] Research Design and Standards Organization (RDSO), another railway entity, also refused certification to projects not implemented under the criteria. Subsequently, several state governments have enacted their own Metro Acts. [105]

See also

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Urban Mass Transit Company Limited (UMTC) is an urban transport consultancy company to develop sustainable urban mobility methods and solutions. It focuses on planning, designing, project management and implementation supervision of urban transportation projects. It was founded on 13 April 1993 as a partnership between Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation and Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services Limited (IL&FS).


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  1. Indicates lines that are in operation for operational systems, lines that are under construction for under construction systems and proposed lines for proposed systems.
  2. Indicates stations that are in operation for operational systems, stations that are under construction for under construction systems and proposed stations for proposed systems.