At what speed does the high-speed Airport Metro run? Officially, it is 105 kmph, but actually it is much less.
The showcase Airport Metro Express had earlier promised to increase its speed from 105kmph to 120 kmph after an official go-ahead from the Commissioner of Metro Rail Safety (CMRS). But it has actually brought down its speed to 80-90kmph a few days ago — without making it official. So, while the travel time has gone up, the train frequency has decreased.
Reliance Infrastructure, the concessionaire company, however, has termed it a temporary change in speed, which will remain effective only for a few weeks. “We have reduced the speed to examine the functioning of trains and tracks. Such checks would not be possible if we run trains at 105kmph,” said Anil P Gupta, president, Reliance Infrastructure.
According to the Reliance officials, the reduction of speed by 15-25km per hour would not affect the commuters significantly.
Many commuters, especially the office goers, have however, expressed their dissatisfaction over the rise in travel time. “During morning hours when we rush to go to office, a few extra minutes of travelling make a huge difference,” said Manju Singh, a daily commuter.
M Viswanathan, a member of Dwarka Forum, a social organisation, said: “I spoke to a customer care representative and then got to know that the speed has been reduced to 80km from 105km and will continue this way for some more time. This has caused the waiting time to rise to 13 minutes from 12 minutes during peak hours.”
When contacted, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), denied having any knowledge about the train speed being decreased. When contacted, DMRC spokesperson Anuj Dayal, said: “We don’t want to comment on this issue.”
Notably, DMRC’s former chief E Sreedharan had always emphasised on increasing the speed of the Airport Express from 105kmph to 120kmph. Prior to his retirement, he also had expressed his dissatisfaction over the performance of the concessionaire company, especially on the speed issue.