The first nine four-car stainless-steel trains are being manufactured at Alstom's Brazil plant at Lapa, São Paulo with five of these trains delivered so far to India. The remaining 33 trains will be built at the 26,000m² Sricity factory which currently employs 150 skilled people, with plans in place to increase this to 200. The trains have a maximum operating speed of 80km/h, utilise overhead catenary, regenerative braking and air conditioning systems.

Testing is now underway in Chennai on a 5.7km elevated section of Phase 1 from Koyambedu to Ashok Nagar, which is part of the 22km east-west line from Chennai Central to St Thomas Mount. CMRL says it hopes to begin passenger services on the 9km section from Koyambedu to Alandur by July, while Phase 1, which in addition to the Chennai Central - St Thomas Mount line, comprises a 23.1km north-south line from Washermenpet to Chennai International Airport, will open entirely in 2015.

Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica) provided 59% of the funding for the estimated Rs 140bn ($US 2.23bn) project, with the state and national governments funding the remainder. Jica says that around Rs 80bn of its funds for the project have now been disbursed.