Come September, Delhiites will not only be able to reach airport in just 20 minutes from Connaught Place by 'express' Metro, but can also hope to save some more time by checking in their baggages at selected metro stations.
The 23-km long Airport Express Line, which will be operated by ADAG's Reliance Infrastructure-led Delhi Airport Metro Express Limited (DAMEPL), will be commissioned by September, a month before the Commonwealth Games, with 85 per cent of the work on the line already complete.
When the line becomes operational, the national capital will join the elite club of cities like London, Hong Kong, Beijing and Bangkok, which have similar high-speed link to airports.
Passengers will be able to buy air tickets and check in their baggages at New Delhi and Shivaji Stadium stadium stations which will resemble a mini airport.
The baggages will be loaded onto the trains, which will have half-a-coach dedicated for the purpose, and will be off-loaded at the Airport Metro station, from where they will be sent to the airport lounge through a dedicated underground tunnel.
Company sources said that the plan for the luggage handling at Metro stations is very much on and that almost all prominent airlines will set up their counters.
Government was not very happy with the initial roposal of carrying the luggages from the Airport Metro station to the airport lounge by road.
"So, we decided to deliver the luggages through an underground tunnel. The idea was welcomed (by the government)," a company source said.
The tunnel work is almost complete and it will help in better coordination between the two authorities -- DAMEPL and Delhi International Airport Limited.
The source said the check-in counters at the metro stations will be exactly like those in an airport. "As of now all the existing airlines will be allowed to set up their counters at the stations. We will look for expansion of space when the new airlines will come up," the source said.
The trains on this line will be entirely different from the existing ones and will have in-built noise reduction features.
The wheels will have flange lubrication system for less noise and better riding comfort. Each coach will have LCD screens for entertainment of passengers and will also show flight information.