Khojasan Depot - A Hub of Technological Innovations

Khojasan Depot - A Hub of Technological Innovations

23 DECEMBER / 2023 / 13:56

A year has passed since the opening of the Baku Metro's second depot and the first electric depot of the independence era, inaugurated with the participation of Mr. Ilham Aliyev, the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan.

The construction of all infrastructure projects of the depot will be carried out in three phases. The first phase has enabled the operation of areas essential for the existing infrastructure covering four stations and tunnels of the line within the depot area. It is worth noting that work for the next two phases will be carried out as new stations and tunnels of the line are constructed, in accordance with demand.

The construction of the depot started with the excavation of tunnels connecting it to "Avtovagzal," the first station of the Purple Line. Works on tunnels, 1,112 and 1,235 meters long, were conducted under the densely populated area of Bilajari, in challenging hydrogeological conditions. The area was characterized by unstable soil layers and rich groundwater sources. The absence of sewage lines in the residential area made the situation more complicated, hindering the diggers' work with infiltrating wastewater. Additionally, as the tunnels passed under the railway mainline and crucial engineering communication lines, special preventive measures were taken to avoid any unforeseen accidents.

It should be noted that both tunnel paths were built on reinforced concrete blocks produced by the metro's own manufacturing site, rather than on wooden sleepers. Similarly, concrete sleepers produced in our country were used for the depot tracks, instead of wood.

Retaining walls were constructed to protect the depot from landslides around the elevated terrain. The area, previously a swamp and dumpsite, has been landscaped, greened, and trees planted considering the soil properties. To date, a green belt has been created by planting over 2,000 trees and shrubs, significantly improving the ecological environment of the surrounding area.

The first phase of the depot infrastructure includes a dispatcher centralization center for organizing train movement and supervising the process, a 35 kV electric substation, a cargo terminal, depot tracks and the section connecting them to the Azerbaijan railway mainline, two drinking water reservoirs each with a capacity of 240 cubic meters, two fire water reservoirs each holding 500 cubic meters, a 201-meter-long power cable collector, a temporary motor depot for servicing passenger trains, and most importantly, Baku Metro's 2nd above-ground station, etc.

The installation of the signaling and telecommunication system of the "Khojasan" depot was realized based on two important contract documents signed between "Baku Metro" JSC and "Thales International" company during the visit of the First Vice-President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Mrs. Mehriban Aliyeva, to the French Republic on March 11-12, 2019, within the framework of the signing ceremony of Azerbaijan-France documents. The organization of train movement is based on the most modern technologies of signaling, centralization, and communication systems.

In the first phase, including the test track, 4,279 meters of movement rails built on 5,298 reinforced concrete sleepers feature 33 switch devices, 23 tower signals, 19 dwarf signals, 69 "wheel counters," and 25,000 meters of signal cable. The total length of the branch leading to the Azerbaijan railways is 1,140 meters.

Based on a unique project model applied in aviation, the dispatcher control center is a circular-shaped five-story building. The top floor houses the centralization duty officer's workplace. Here, train movement is facilitated by modern automation and telecommunication equipment, allowing for visual supervision. The depot's video surveillance system is also located in this building. Other floors house signaling and communication equipment, microprocessor centralization and relay racks, an automated room for electrical mechanics.

The electric substation of the depot has a nominal power of 11.920 kW and a voltage of 35 kV. While constructing the substation, not only current but also future phases' requirements for operational areas were considered. Two 1000 kVA and four 630 kVA power units, as well as four 1600 kVA power units, have been installed.

The depot is equipped with modern security, information-communication, communication, fire protection, lighting systems, and two boiler rooms. Areas equipped with modern devices have been allocated for vehicle parking. Both entry-control points are equipped with devices for automatic control-registration with service badges, and modern-type car parks have been created nearby.

The electric depot accommodates six trains, either operating on the line or kept in reserve. The movement interval from "Khojasan" is 16 minutes, and in the "Avtovagzal-8 November" area, it is 8 minutes. In other words, every other train from "Avtovagzal" station moves towards the "Khojasan" station direction.