The three-car train travelled over the 5.6km at-grade section of Line from Mihan to Khapri. Commercial operations are due to begin on this section in December.

Due for completion by 2023, the Rs 86.8bn ($US 1.4bn) first phase of the metro network in india’s 13th-largest city comprises the 19.7km north-south Line 1 from Automotive Square to Khapri and the 18.6km Line 2, which will run from Prajapati Nagar in the east to Lokmanya Nagar in the west. The two lines will intersect at Sitaburdi Interchange in the city centre.

The project is being funded by multiple agencies including the Indian government (20%), the state of Maharashtra (20%), Nagpur Municipal Corporation (5%), Nagpur Improvement Trust (5%). The remainder of the project is being funded through a Rs 40bn loan from German bank KFW and a Rs 6bn loan from AFD, France.

The project has a particular focus on renewable energy, and 65% of electricity requirements will be met from solar sources.

Between 2014 and January 2017, India’s Urban Development Ministry sanctioned Rs 306.5bn for metro projects and released Rs 123.4bn in government funding to metro developers. For the 2017-18 financial year, the ministry allocated Rs 179.6bn for metro development, of which Rs 46.5bn had been spent by June.

Last August the India government unveiled a new policy for metro investment which seeks to increase private-sector investment in metro projects.

Nagpur metro interior