Narendra Modi to flag off first automated, driverless Delhi Metro train on 28 Dec

A DMRC statement added that Modi will also be launching the fully operational NCMC for travel on the 23-km Airport Express Line (New Delhi to Dwarka Sector 21)

Press Trust of India December 24, 2020 22:40:54 IST
Narendra Modi to flag off first automated, driverless Delhi Metro train on 28 Dec

File photo of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

New Delhi: In an advance New Year's gift to people, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is slated to flag off the country's first ever fully-automated driverless train service on the Magenta Line of Delhi Metro on December 28, the DMRC said on Thursday.

The commercial operation of these new-generation trains, set to be a major technological feat, will begin after the event, a senior Delhi Metro official said.

"Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be flagging off the country's first ever fully-automated driverless train service on the 37 km-Magenta Line (Janakpuri West to Botanical Garden) and will also be launching the fully operational National Common Mobility Card (NCMC) for travel on the 23-km Airport Express Line (New Delhi to Dwarka Sector 21) on December 28, 2020," the DMRC said in a statement.

Both the events, the flagging-off of the driverless train as well as the launch of NCMC on the Airport Express Line, will be hosted via video conferencing, a senior DMRC official said.

"After the launch, it will be the first time when commuters will be able to use NCMC on any corridor of the Delhi Metro," he said.

Prime Minister Modi in March 2019 had launched the indigenously-developed NCMC to enable people to pay multiple kinds of transport charges, including using Metro and bus services across the country.

Dubbed as 'One Nation One Card', the inter-operable transport card allows the holders to also pay for their bus travel, toll taxes, parking charges, retail shopping and even withdraw money.

This is the first major event of Delhi Metro in 2020 which saw an unprecedented lockdown in the earlier months due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Delhi Metro had resumed services with curtailed operation on the Yellow Line from September 7 after being closed for over five months.

The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) has 10 corridors with 242 stations and on regular days, the average daily ridership of the Delhi Metro is over 26 lakh.

Driven by cutting-edge technology, the DMRC had been conducting various trials for its new "driverless trains", whose flagging off will be a major technological milestone for the rapid transport network and the country.

Delhi Metro had begun its commercial operation on December 25, 2002, a day after the then prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had inaugurated the DMRC's first stretch, spanning 8.2 km from Shahdara to Tis Hazari, with just six stations.

The driverless trains are to operate on Magenta Line and Pink Line, made as part of the Phase-III of the DMRC network.

Delhi Metro in September 2017 had started full signalling trials of its new driverless trains along a 20-kilometre-long stretch on the Pink Line, which was yet to be commissioned back then.

The trials were to test the automation of the new metro trains, equipped with Unattended Train Operations (UTO) and CBTC (Communication Based Train Control) signaling systems, which will significantly increase their frequency.

The driverless train having six coaches are equipped with several advanced features. These new trains of Delhi Metro have undergone significant technological as well as eco-friendly upgrades and many more features have been added to increase passenger comfort. They are designed for a maximum speed of 95 kmph and operational speed of 85 kmph, Delhi Metro had earlier said.

They would run on the over 58-km-long Majlish Park-Shiv Vihar (Line 7) and the over 38-km-long Janakpuri West-Botanical Garden (Line 8) corridors of the Phase-III.

Each coach can accommodate maximum 380 passengers, which translates to 2,280 passengers in each train set of six coaches. The cabin-less trains would be able to accommodate 40 commuters more in a six coach train as the driver's cab will not be required in such trains.

"These trains would be more energy efficient than the earlier trains of Delhi Metro because of improved design features such as better regeneration of energy during braking, energy efficient sub systems like LED lighting and air conditioning systems," the DMRC had said.

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