Delhi Metro unveils fully automated driverless trains

New Delhi, April 6 (IANS) Delhi Metro on Wednesday unveiled its fully automated train, saying these faster and driverless trains will run on the upcoming two lines.

But these trains too will be operated by drivers for a year before the Delhi Metro Rail Corp (DMRC) declares the driverless trains safe, DMRC Managing Director Mangu Singh said.

“Initially, the train will be run by a driver for one year on trial basis. Only after successfully conducting the trial, it will be fully automated. Unless we are 100 percent sure, we won’t start with driverless trains,” he told the media.

The upcoming lines connect Majlis Park and Shiv Vihar in north Delhi (58.5 km) as well as Botanical Garden in Noida and Janakpuri West in west Delhi (38 km).

The Majlis Park-Shiv Vihar line would be the longest on the Delhi Metro network.

Mangu Singh said the trial run for the Pink Line (Majlis Park-Shiv Vihar) and the Magenta Line (Botanical Garden-Janakpuri West) would be completed by the end of this year.

“Most of the work on both lines is complete. I’m hopeful that some of the stretches would be operational for public this year itself.”

The new trains would have six fixed coaches and can carry more passengers.

A senior DMRC official, H.S. Anand, said the new trains would be 10 percent faster and 20 percent more energy efficient than the present ones.

“In the existing trains, only 50 percent of the coaches are motorised. In the new trains, four of the six coaches are powered. So acceleration would be fast and less power would be consumed.”

The average speed of the new train would be 37-38 km per hour, compared to 30-32 km per hour now.

Anand said the trains would generate electricity even when brakes are applied, enabling the air-conditioning system to keep working.

To increase passenger capacity, the new coaches’ bodies have been widened to 3.2 metres against the 2.9 metres in existing trains, Anand said.

“Also, the space will increase as the driver’s cabin will be removed and 40 more people can be accommodated. Overall, the new trains will be able to carry 1,866 passengers,” Anand said.

The new trains also have passenger-friendly features such as WiFi, USB charging ports, redesigned grab handles, digital route map and backrest near the wheelchair area.

Each train will have six LED screens with videos, graphics, animation and real time video streaming capacity.

DMRC has ordered 81 new trains and received 14 so far.

Delhi Metro, which began operations in 2002, today transports 25-26 lakh people every day.

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