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Bigger, faster, cooler: New Metro trains for commuters from March

Korean model coaches to start operating on yet-to-be opened Magenta Line’s Botanical Garden-Kalkaji corridor, will go driverless by mid-2018

delhi Updated: Nov 28, 2016 17:26 IST
Faizan Haider
Faizan Haider
Hindustan Times
Metro Trains,Delhi Metro,Metro Phase 3
New Metro trains have an ‘Unattended Train Operation’ mode.(Sanjeev Verma/HT Photo)

Come March, swankier, faster, more spacious and energy-efficient Metro trains will be thrown open to commuters on the new Magenta Line’s Botanical Garden-Kalkaji corridor—a section of the Phase 3 expansion.

Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) has ordered 86 six-coach trains from a Korea-based manufacturer to be used on the new Pink (Mukundpur-Shiv Vihar) and Magenta (Botanical Garden-Janakpuri west) lines. Eventually, after trials, they will be run on automated mode without a driver.

The new trains, which can’t be integrated with the existing lines, have a host of special features:

Driverless operation

The trains have an ‘Unattended Train Operation’ mode. Initially, operators will drive them. By mid 2018, after DMRC holds stringent trials for a year, the trains are expected to go completely driverless.

All functions — starting and stopping, acceleration and braking, operation of doors and handling of emergencies—will be fully automated. A control room at every station will manage and monitor every activity. There will also be a central control room, Operation Control Centre (OCC), which will also communicate with the train. The OCC will monitor live streaming from the coaches as well.

New metro systems world over are reportedly adopting the driverless technology. Internationally, the trials take about a year and a half, DMRC said.

The trains also have an Obstruction Deflection Device (ODD) that can remove small obstructions on the track to avoid derailment.

Once the trains become driverless, their two additional front-facing cameras will help the control room spot and prevent suicide attempts. The driver’s cabin will be removed, and 60 more passengers can be accommodated in each train.

Additional space

The new-design coaches are wider at 3.2 metres, compared to the existing 2.9-metre wide coaches on Standard Gauge. Technical equipment have moved to beneath the seats. As a result, passenger capacity will increase from 1,780 to 1,866 per train.

Speed and frequency

The existing trains run at 35 kilometres an hour. The new ones have higher acceleration which can make them 10% faster. Also, the distance between two trains can be less, and the trains can run at 90 seconds frequency. At present, their average frequency is two minutes and 10 seconds.

Energy efficiency

The new design can facilitate higher regeneration of power which can lower energy consumption by 20%. It has technologies such as LED saloon lights with automatic dimming facility based on ambient light and inverter-controlled energy efficient air-conditioning system.

Digital screens

Screens in every coach will display digital route maps. There are also fully programmable LCD screens with videos, graphics, animations and real-time video streaming. Advertisements can also be displayed on them, a revenue stream for DMRC.

The 86 six-coach Korean trains are wider at 3.2 metres, can carry 1,866 passengers per train compared to 1,780 at present, can run 10% faster and come packed with features. The trains will be inaugurated on Magenta Line’s Botanical Garden-Kalkaji corridor in March
Instead of 2 seats next to the door, the new coaches will have 3-4 of them. Seats will also be in colours other than usual grey
Redesigned grab rail or pole will allow at least 3 passengers to hold on for support at once
Once trains become driverless, driver’s cabin will be removed. In it’s place will be a large window. Sixty more passengers can fit in every train
Screens in every coach will display digital route maps. There are also fully programmable LCD screens with graphics, animations and real-time video streaming. Ads can also be displayed on them, a revenue source for DMRC
Every coach will have lumber support or backrest for the convenience of wheelchair users
516 coaches to be deployed by DMRC on the two lines, meaning 86 trains with 6 coaches each will ply.
14 trains have already been assembled. DMRC will add 3-4 trains every month to take the total count to 86.
06 coaches is the maximum in each train.The capacity cannot be increased.


new comforts
Women: Seats of the first and last coach will be pink in colour. First coach in the running direction will be reserved for women. At the side, there will be extra sitting space. The side seats will accommodate four instead of two.
Youth: Trains to have inbuilt Wi-Fi. There will be USB port charging facility so if someone is just carrying wire, they can charge the phone through port.
Specially-abled: Backrest facility in the first and last coach for people who are standing. Passengers can keep wheelchairs near it.

First Published: Nov 28, 2016 13:16 IST