Delhi Metro trains launching in October to run ‘driverless’ only after two years
The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation will be opening two stretches — 13-km Kalkaji-Botanical Garden and the 10-km Janakpuri West to Terminal 1-IGI Airport — phase III network on the Magenta Line in October.delhi Updated: Jul 08, 2017 18:49 IST
There’s good news for those travelling between the airport, Noida, south and east Delhi.
The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) will be opening two stretches — 13-km Kalkaji-Botanical Garden and the 10-km Janakpuri West to Terminal 1-IGI Airport — in its phase III network on the Magenta Line in October. Also, users of these corridors are going to be the first to experience the brand new ‘driverless’ trains.
Commuters will travel in technologically advanced and energy-efficient trains on the new sections where DMRC is putting in place a new signalling system known as the communication-based train control (CBTC). However, the trains equipped with the unattended train operation (UTO) feature will run without a driver only after about two years of operation.
“This is because our operators too need to get used to the new signalling system. So for the first two years, drivers will run them. The trains will have WiFi facility,” a metro official said.
While trial runs on both the stretches are on, the 34-km Magenta Line will be thrown open only in stages between October and March 2018. The line alone will connect west Delhi to Noida via IGI Airport’s domestic terminal.
The 58-km-long Pink Line, which will connect Majlis Park with Shiv Vihar and runs along the arterial ring road that encircles the city, will be opened in stages between December 2017 and March 2018. However, a section of the corridor between Nizamuddin and IP Extension in east Delhi may not be operational by March as it is stuck over land acquisition.
Trial runs along certain stretches of the Magenta Line had begun last year itself while on Pink Line, along a 6.5-km-long segment to be precise, it started on June 22. Last week, DMRC carried out the first trial run on the Pink Line between the Shakurpur and Mayapuri Metro stations. The Magenta and Pink Lines will be the first ones to have driverless trains.
- Two stretches of 34-km Magenta Line that will connect Janakpuri in west Delhi to Noida via IGI Airport’s domestic terminal to open in October: 13-km Kalkaji-Botanical Garden and 10-km Janakpuri West to Terminal 1-IGI Airport
- Efficient trains
- New signalling system
- Driverless trains
- Cost: Rs40,000 crore
- 140 km to be added to current coverage of 213 km
- 15 new interchange stations
According to the latest Phase-III status report, the date for Nizamuddin to IP Extension section will be worked out after resettlement and rehabilitation issues at Trilokpuri are settled. The Pink Line will connect northwest Delhi’s Mukundpur to northeast Delhi’s Shiv Vihar cutting across various south Delhi areas including Sarojini Nagar, INA, South Extension and densely populated parts of east Delhi such as Mayur Vihar Phase I, Vinod Nagar and Karkardooma.
Under the Phase-III expansion project being implemented at a cost of around Rs40,000 crore, a total of 140 km of network will be added to the current coverage of 213 km. The Phase-III network will also add 15 interchange stations to the existing nine and will take the count of total stations in Delhi-NCR to a whopping 227.
In October last year, DMRC chief Mangu Singh had told HT that both these lines will be launched in a staggered manner, meaning, small sections will be made operational instead of the entire corridors being thrown open in one go.