Come March, swankier, faster, more spacious and energy-efficient Metro trains will be thrown open to commuters on the new Magenta Line’s Botanical Garden-Kalkaji corridor—a section of the Phase 3 expansion.
Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) has ordered 86 six-coach trains from a Korea-based manufacturer to be used on the new Pink (Mukundpur-Shiv Vihar) and Magenta (Botanical Garden-Janakpuri west) lines. Eventually, after trials, they will be run on automated mode without a driver.
The new trains, which can’t be integrated with the existing lines, have a host of special features:
The trains have an ‘Unattended Train Operation’ mode. Initially, operators will drive them. By mid 2018, after DMRC holds stringent trials for a year, the trains are expected to go completely driverless.
All functions — starting and stopping, acceleration and braking, operation of doors and handling of emergencies—will be fully automated. A control room at every station will manage and monitor every activity. There will also be a central control room, Operation Control Centre (OCC), which will also communicate with the train. The OCC will monitor live streaming from the coaches as well.
New metro systems world over are reportedly adopting the driverless technology. Internationally, the trials take about a year and a half, DMRC said.
The trains also have an Obstruction Deflection Device (ODD) that can remove small obstructions on the track to avoid derailment.
Once the trains become driverless, their two additional front-facing cameras will help the control room spot and prevent suicide attempts. The driver’s cabin will be removed, and 60 more passengers can be accommodated in each train.
The new-design coaches are wider at 3.2 metres, compared to the existing 2.9-metre wide coaches on Standard Gauge. Technical equipment have moved to beneath the seats. As a result, passenger capacity will increase from 1,780 to 1,866 per train.
Speed and frequency
The existing trains run at 35 kilometres an hour. The new ones have higher acceleration which can make them 10% faster. Also, the distance between two trains can be less, and the trains can run at 90 seconds frequency. At present, their average frequency is two minutes and 10 seconds.
The new design can facilitate higher regeneration of power which can lower energy consumption by 20%. It has technologies such as LED saloon lights with automatic dimming facility based on ambient light and inverter-controlled energy efficient air-conditioning system.
Screens in every coach will display digital route maps. There are also fully programmable LCD screens with videos, graphics, animations and real-time video streaming. Advertisements can also be displayed on them, a revenue stream for DMRC.
14 trains have already been assembled. DMRC will add 3-4 trains every month to take the total count to 86.
06 coaches is the maximum in each train.The capacity cannot be increased.
THESE COACHES CANNOT BE INTEGRATED WITH THE EXISTING LINES
Youth: Trains to have inbuilt Wi-Fi. There will be USB port charging facility so if someone is just carrying wire, they can charge the phone through port.
Specially-abled: Backrest facility in the first and last coach for people who are standing. Passengers can keep wheelchairs near it.