It seems like Christmas 2017 will be all the more special for Metro lovers in Delhi and Noida!
Because this Christmas, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation will finally introduce its long-awaited first ‘driverless’ Metro trains on the Kalkaji Mandir-Botanical Garden stretch of Magenta Line.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the 12.64 km Janakpuri West-Botanical Garden part of the corridor on December 25.
This will cut down travel time between Noida and South Delhi from 52 minutes to just 19 minutes. Commuters from Noida will no longer need to travel to Mandi House to switch to the Violet Line.
Earlier, a commuter had to take a train from the Botanical garden, cross ten stations to reach Mandi house (taking 29 minutes) and then change another Metro from there and cross another ten stations to reach Kalkaji in about 28 minutes. This meant 47 minutes inside the Metro and five minutes to switch the lines. Now this travel journey of about 52 minutes from Botanical Garden to Mandi House via the Blue Line and onward to Kalkaji on the Violet Line will be cut short to just 19 minutes.
Even Noida passengers travelling to Faridabad will be able to change trains at Kalkaji Mandir and go directly to Faridabad, saving time.
The opening of the entire 38.23 km long corridor from Botanical Garden to Janakpuri West is stipulated to happen by March 2018. It will also bring Noida closer to Gurgaon than before with an interchange available at Hauz Khas, reported The Times of India.
The launch of the long corridor from Botanical Garden to Janakpuri West will also mark 15 glorious years of the Delhi Metro.
It is for the first time in the history of Delhi Metro that a corridor, in this case, the Kalkaji Mandir-Botanical Garden section, will be operated with the Communication Based Train Control (CBTC) signalling technology. This will enable trains to move at a frequency of one every 90 to 100 seconds.
Even though the trains can operate in an auto mode, at the moment drivers will be present.
These trains will be brightly lit and will have videos guiding passengers on their routes. According to HT, the trains will also be facilitated with Wi-Fi, USB ports along with charging points, LED and LCD screens and backrests near the wheelchair area. The seats in these new trains will come in a range of colours from red, pink, orange and blue.
The action plan includes running six-coach trains on the line, with fully functional and automated platform screen doors similar to the Jubilee line of the London tube. The flaps on the automatic fare collection (AFC) gates will only close if a commuter tries to pass through without touching a token or smart card on the gate, reports TOI.
The introduction of the line will also make the Botanical Garden Metro station of the Magenta Line the first interchange Metro station outside Delhi as it comes up next to the existing Blue Line. And since both Botanical Garden and Kalkaji Mandir are interchange stations, travel time between the Blue and Violet Lines will be significantly reduced.