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The first ‘driverless’ train will roll out on the 37-km long Magenta Line of the Delhi Metro. Photo: PTI (Representative image)
The first ‘driverless’ train will roll out on the 37-km long Magenta Line of the Delhi Metro. Photo: PTI (Representative image)

India's first 'driverless' train to be flagged off by PM Modi next week. Details here

  • The commercial operation of these new-generation trains will begin after the event, an official said
  • PM Modi will also inaugurate National Common Mobility Card for travelling on Airport Express Line on 28 December

India's first 'driverless' metro train services will be flagged off by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 28 December. The first ‘driverless’ train will roll out on the 37-km long Magenta Line of the Delhi Metro. The rail network is spread across the national capital region — Janakpuri West to Botanical Garden in Noida. "The driverless trains will be fully automated, which will eliminate the possibility of human error," Prime Minister's office said in a statement.

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.

The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) had been conducting various trials for its new "driverless trains" for last three years. In September 2017, the Delhi Metro had started full signalling trials of its new driverless trains along a 20-km-long stretch on the Pink Line. 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' trains will have six coaches. They will be equipped with several advanced features such as better regeneration of energy during braking, energy efficient sub systems like LED lighting and air conditioning systems. They are designed for a maximum speed of 95 kmph and operational speed of 85 kmph, Delhi Metro had earlier said.

Each coach can accommodate a maximum of 380 passengers, which translates to 2,280 passengers in each train. 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.

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.

"These trains would be more energy efficient than the earlier trains of Delhi Metro because of improved design features," an official told news agency PTI.

"After the start of driverless services on the Magenta Line, the Pink Line of Delhi Metro is expected to have driverless operations by the mid of 2021," Prime Minister's office said in a statement.

National Common Mobility Card to be launched next week

Along with the 'driverless' metro, Modi will also inaugurate National Common Mobility Card for travelling on Airport Express Line on 28 December, the official statement said. The card is an inter-operable transport card that allows holders to pay multiple kinds of transport charges, including using metro and bus services across the country, toll, parking and even for retail shopping and withdrawing money. Anyone with a RuPay-debit card will be allowed to travel on the Airport Express Line using that card.

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.

The National Common Mobility Card card will be available on the entire Delhi Metro network by 2022. "These innovations will herald a new era of travelling comfort and enhanced mobility." the official statement added.

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