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Delhi Metro gets faster, swankier

Last updated on: September 25, 2009 

Image: Passengers inside a carriage of the Delhi Metro rail.
Photographs: B Mathur/Reuters

Delhi Metro on Friday rolled out its new fleet of broad gauge trains, which are more faster and swankier than the present ones, as DMRC chief E Sreedharan promised more trains to meet the ever-increasing passenger rush on the new age transport system.

After inducting the train procured from Bombardier and air-lifted from Germany, at the Central Secretariat station in New Delhi, Sreedharan travelled on the metro from the station to Jehangirpur during which he interacted with the commuters and got to know their views about DMRC.

The acquisition of the train is part of Rs 2,984 crore (Rs 29.84 billion) deal with Bombardier under which DMRC will procure 83 broad gauge trains by 2011. The new trains promise to make the journey more comfortable for commuters.

"Today is a very important day for the people of Delhi as we have inducted new fleet of broad gauge trains. We will be introducing two more trains on the Central Secretariat-Jehangirpuri line as it is one of the most over-crowded lines," he told reporters at the Patel Chowk station after taking a ride on the new train.

Delhi Metro gets faster, swankier

Image: Delhi Metro Rail Corporation chief Elattuvalapil Sreedharan.
Photographs: Adnan Abidi/Reuters

Some of the facilities of the new trains are a high capacity air-conditioning system, heat and humidity control system, sockets for charging mobile phones and laptops and CCTVs to keep a watch on passengers' misconduct.

He said with the completion of Phase-II next year before the Commonwealth Games, DMRC hopes to increase its ridership from the current 9.5 lakh (950,000) to 25 lakh (2.5 million) in 2011, which is almost 1.5 times higher.

Sreedharan said the new trains are 'smoother and make much lesser noise' than the existing ones.

"The new trains have CCTV cameras through which the train operator will come to know what is happening inside the train and in case of emergency the passengers can speak to him without pressing the panic button," he said.

Delhi Metro gets faster, swankier

Image: Britain's International Development Minister Douglas Alexander (2nd from left) and Energy and Climate Change Minister Ed Miliband (3rd left) walk inside the driver's cabin of the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation in New Delhi.
Photographs: Parth Sanyal/Reuters

Sreedharan said the DMRC will soon introduce six-coaches train which will ease pressure on all the three lines.

"Six-coach trains will ease pressure on the over-crowded lines. Out of the 83 trains we are procuring from Bombardier, 46 will be six-coach trains," he said.

The trains will be able to hit the tracks only after getting a nod from the Commissioner of Railway Safety for starting the services.

"We have a shortage of trains. Once we get the trains they have to go through a rigorous process of checking and testing. Only after the DMRC is fully satisfied with the trains, we induct them into service," he said.

Delhi Metro gets faster, swankier

Image: An Antonov cargo aircraft carrying a new metro rail carriage sits on tarmac at the cargo terminal of the Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi.
Photographs: Stringer/Reuters

Sreedharan said the new broad gauge trains will also be used on the Dwarka Sec-9-Noida line and other corridors of the Phase-II.

The maximum operational speed of the new trains will be 85 km per hour while the existing ones can increase the speed up to 80 km per hour.

The new high capacity air-conditioning system can maintain a temperature of 25 degree Celsius inside the train when fully loaded at a time when the outside temperature is 44 degree Celsius.

A digital route map has also be installed near the doors of all the coaches to indicate the approaching stations besides the audio warning system.

Delhi Metro gets faster, swankier

Image: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh the inauguration of the Delhi metro rail line between Bharakhamba Road to Dwarka in New Delhi on December 30, 2005.
Photographs: B Mathur/Reuters

The new fleet of trains will use disc breaking system and not the truck breaking system as used in the existing trains.

Sreedharan said nine trains have been air-lifted from Germany and other trains will be manufactured by Bombardier at its factory near Vadodara in Gujarat by next year.

Asked whether the DMRC was contemplating to increase fares, he said it was being looked into by a team and that he cannot disclose anything on the issue now.

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