There is good news for the thousands who travel by the Airport Metro Express. The swanky trains on the high-speed corridor are about to return to running at high speeds.
“The Delhi Metro is conducting inspections of the corridor. If everything goes well, the trains on the corridor will be allowed to run at 70kmph in a couple of days and then at 80kmph following another round of inspections in a few days,” said Anuj Dayal, a DMRC spokesperson.
Sources indicated that the trains on the 22.7km corridor are likely to start running at 80kmph by next week.
The trains ran at the maximum speed of 50kmph when the Airport Metro Express services resumed last month, because of which the response from commuters was lukewarm. This prompted the Delhi Metro to increase its speed to 80kmph, the maximum speed allowed by Commissioner of Metro Rail Safety RK Kardam in the safety certificate issued last month.
The speed of trains on the corridor were increased from 50kmph to 60kmph on January 29 following an inspection conducted by the DMRC.
The DMRC can allow trains to run at the maximum speed of 80kmph. But speeds of up to 105kmph — the authorised speed — can be considered only after the expert panel identifies the reason for the breaking of clamps during its earlier operations, the sources said.
“We are hopeful that speed (of trains) on the corridor will increase soon,” said a spokesperson of Delhi Airport Metro Express.
Services on the corridor were suspended last July following major faults identified in the civil structure. Around that time, it catered to an average of 20,000 commuters a day. But after becoming operational again, its average of daily commuters had come down to 12,000, the sources said.