In what is touted as a game changer for Indian Metro rail projects, the Pune Metro is set to get ultra-modern, state-of-the-art aluminium-bodied coaches.Thus far, Metros in the country have used stainless steel-bodied coaches.A consortium formed by Kolkata-based wagon manufacturer Titagarh Wagons with its wholly-owned subsidiary Titagarh Firema SPA recently won the international bid to supply 102 aluminium coaches to the Pune Metro project. The Maharashtra Metro Rail Corporation Ltd. (Maha Metro) had issued a tender for “design, manufacture, supply, testing, commissioning of passenger rolling stock (electrical multiple units) and training of personnel”.This will be the first time that aluminium-bodied coaches, which are said to be lighter in weight, more energy efficient and have better aesthetics, will be manufactured in India, Dr. Brijesh Dixit, managing director of Maha Metro, said.“The company will manufacture 25% of the coaches at their plant in Italy and 75% will be produced and commissioned at the Maha Metro coach manufacturing plant in Nagpur,” Dr. Dixit said. He said the Pune Metro project had crossed “another important milestone” with this order for coach procurement. Officials from the Pune Metro project said that initially, the trains will consist of three coaches, which will subsequently be converted into six as per requirement. They said these coaches would be fully air-conditioned with humidity control, provided with digital route and station display and international standard interiors.“The coaches will have 100% CCTV camera coverage. [Passengers with disabilities] will be able to travel seamlessly to/from the station entry to the train with specially earmarked places for wheelchairs. Mobile and laptop charging facility will also be provided on board,” a spokesperson with the project said. The coaches are to be ergonomically and aerodynamically designed, with the coach exterior reflecting the history and cultural heritage of Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad. They will have a maximum speed of 95 kmph and the capacity to accommodate more than 925 passengers.“They are energy efficient and will be equipped with a regenerative braking system. They will also be capable of operating in driverless mode,” Dr. Dixit said.Pune Metro will begin operating with coaches being used by Maha Metro in Nagpur, and will be augmented as and when the new coaches join the fleet.The ₹11,420 crore- Pune Metro rail system has been projected by Centre and the State government as a panacea to Pune’s traffic woes. In December 2016, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had laid the foundation stone for the project, just ahead of the elections to the Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad municipal corporations.An especially vital section in the project — comprising three lines with a total length of 54.58 km — is the elevated 23.3-km Line 3, which will bridge the city’s bustling Information Technology quarter in Hinjewadi with Shivajinagar.