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PM Modi to inaugurate India’s first driverless trains on Delhi Metro’s Magenta Line: 3 key things to know

Flagging off of India's first driverless train on the Delhi Metro network is being seen as a major technological milestone for rapid transport in the country.

December 28, 2020 / 07:08 PM IST

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate India’s first fully-automated train service on Delhi Metro’s Magenta Line on December 28 via video conference.

Commercial operations of the new-generation driverless metro rakes will commence shortly after the prime minister inaugurates the service, according to the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC).

"Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be flagging off the country's first ever fully-automated driverless train service on the 37 kilometre-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 had said in a statement earlier.

Here are three key things to know:

Deployed on Magenta and Pink lines

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These driverless trains will operate on Magenta Line as well as the Pink Line, built as part of the Phase-III of DMRC’s network.

Technological milestone

Flagging off of the driverless trains is being seen as a major technological milestone for the rapid transport network and the country. The DMRC operates 10 metro rail corridors comprising 242 stations. On regular days, the average daily ridership of the Delhi Metro is over 26 lakh.

In September 2017, Delhi Metro had started full signalling trials of its new driverless trains along a 20-km 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) signalling systems, which will significantly increase their frequency.

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 metro rakes

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 kilometres per hour and operational speed of 85 kmph, Delhi Metro had earlier said. They would run on the over 58-km-long Majlis 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.

(With inputs from PTI)
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first published: Dec 28, 2020 09:11 am
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