Delhi Metro's New Delhi-Indira Gandhi International Airport express link might be its first service to run round the clock.
The high-speed link, which would take passengers from New Delhi Railway station to the airport in just 18 minutes, would be the first to operate after midnight to cater to passengers taking international flights. However, it might also run in the lean day hours when there are no flights at the airport, making it a 24-hour service. Passengers would be able to reach Dwarka in 24 minutes.
Delhi Metro has been toying with the idea of running its services beyond midnight but the only obstacle is the time required for maintenance of trains. Metro services start at 6 am and the last trains run up to midnight.
The airport link was planned to run for 20 hours a day with the rest four hours for maintenance. Sources, however, said that a single line, either up or down, could operate in the lean hours while maintenance for the other line is carried out.
"The airport link would certainly be the first to run much after midnight as it has to cater to international air passengers. There is a possibility of it also running in the lean hours but that would depend on maintenance and decided by the concessionaire," said Anuj Dayal, Chief PRO of Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC). A separated maintenance depot for the line would be constructed at Dwarka Sector-21.
The civil work on the line will be done by DMRC but the rolling stock, signaling, OHE, telecom, AFC, and track laying will be done by the concessionaire Reliance Consortium (Reliance Energy and CAF). The concession period is of 30 yrs and the deadline is October 2010.
There are six stations on the line — New Delhi Railway Station, Shivaji Stadium, Dhaula Kuan, NH 8, IGI Airport and Dwarka Sector-21. Baggage check-in facility will be available at New Delhi Railway Station and Shivaji Stadium although baggage will be allowed in the trains from all the stations in this line. Train would stop for 2-4 minutes at each station.
Parking would be available at all the stations except IGIA. Multi level parking is being considered for New Delhi and Shivaji Metro stations, Dayal said.
The fare is expected to be around Rs 100 and monthly passes will be issued to the airlines staff and regular commuters. The passengers getting down from express link can directly board the train from line 3 without changing the platform.