The trial run of the new driverless rakes of the East West Metro, one of which has already reached the city, will begin from the first week of June. The first rake, currently kept at the Central depot, will be operated along the seven km track inside the depot and later it will be run between Salt Lake Sector V and Phool Bagan metro stations.

An overall inspection, covering speed issues, software interface, safety functions and other technical issues will be carried out by senior engineers and officials of Kolkata Metro Rail Corporation during the trial run.

More than 2,500 km will be covered by the rake during the trial run, and officials will also monitor the functioning of automatic door mechanism, functioning of closed circuit television cameras and air conditioning that are installed in all coaches.

The driverless rake will automatically stop inside the tunnel if it finds any object on the tracks and send a signal to the central control room, a senior engineer of KMRC said.

In order to ensure safety of passengers, initially a driver will be on hand when the rakes begin regular operations, a KMRC official said. The first driverless rake with six coaches reached the city two days ago and another rake will reach the city ten days later.

Altogether 14 rakes, each costing Rs 64 crore will be bought from BEML and KMRC has spent Rs 900 crore to purchase the rakes. The East West Metro will start to operate from Salt Lake Sector V to Phool Bagan which is part of Phase I, by October this year.

It could have been completed much earlier if it had not been for illegal encroachment and unauthorised buildings en route between Salt Lake Sector V and Phool Bagan stations.