Come September and you can expect to dodge Delhi's maddening traffic to make it to the International Airport from central Delhi in just about 18 minutes. And to Dwarka, a good 22.7 kilometre distance, in 21 minutes.
Delhi Metro’s airport express line, the high-speed airport link, is inching towards completion. “It’s the first time that RHEDA 2000, a contemporary railway track technology, is being used in India,” said Delhi Airport Metro Express Private Limited (DAMEPL) director KP Maheshwari.
“This will be a ballast-less track to enable the train to travel at a speed of 120 km per hour,” he added. “It will give commuters a noise-less, vibration-less and comfortable journey.” RailOne, the proprietary company of RHEDA 2000 technology, is designing the airport express line tracks for a speed of up to 180 km an hour. However, the metro will travel the express line at 120 kmph.
Out of the 46 km length of the tracks, Maheshwari said 17-18 kms have already been laid.
“In normal circumstances, it takes about 10-12 months to lay 46 km tracks. But we are doing it in almost five months,” Maheshwari said.
The job, said Maheshwari, is quite challenging. In tunnels, where the openings are at a distance of 2 to 2.5 km, special machines to pump concrete to a distance of almost one kilometre have been installed.
The tracks will be laid by June 2010 and the airport line commissioned by Sep 2010, DAMEPL officials said trial runs would start soon.