PM Modi flags operations of driverless train on Delhi Metro Magenta Line

Modi flagged off India’s first driverless train on the Magenta Line this morning through video conferencing. Photo: DMRC Twitter
Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated full-time operations of driverless trains on the Delhi Metro-Magenta Line on Monday. Highlighting his association with this project, Modi said, “I had the privilege of inaugurating the Magenta Line about three years ago. Today again, on this route, the country's first-fully automated metro is being inaugurated.”

Trial runs for driverless trains had begun in May 2016, for which 14 high-tech trains were ferried from South Korea. There was a mishap during the trial on December 20, 2017 when one of the trains crashed through a wall. It was later concluded that there was human error that led to the minor accident while the train was being taken for a wash.

Speaking at the virtual event, Modi said, “When our government was formed in 2014, only five cities had metro rail. Today, metro rail is served in 18 cities. By the year 2025, we are going to expand it to more than 25 cities.”

Photo: DMRC Twitter

“In 2014, only 248 km of metro lines were operational in the country. Today it is about three times, with more than seven hundred kilometres. By year 2025, we are trying to expand it to 1,700 km. In 2014, the number of riders on the metro was 1.7 million per day. Now this number has increased five times to 8.5 million people every day,” he said.

According to officials in the know, this driverless metro operation would be formalised on the Magenta Line that connects Janakpuri (West) and Botanical Garden metro stations. Operations will be expanded to the Pink Line, which connects Majlis Park and Shiv Vihar metro stations by June 2021.

The Delhi Metro system has about 350 train sets that operate across the 285 stations on the network.

Modi also listed different types of metro rail on which work is being carried out in the country. He said that the Regional Rapid Transit System (RRTS) between Delhi and Meerut will reduce the distance of Delhi and Meerut to less than an hour. He also said that in cities where passenger numbers are less, work is being done on the MetroLite version. This version would be constructed at 40 percent cost of normal metro.

Photo: DMRC Twitter

He added that Metro Neo is being worked in cities where the ridership is less. It would be built at the cost of 25 percent of the normal metro. For cities where there are large water bodies, the water metro is now being worked on. This will provide last mile connectivity to the people near the islands, an official statement said.

In addition to the driverless train operations, PM Modi also launched the fully operational National Level Common Mobility Card for travel on the 23-kilometre Airport Express Line (New Delhi to Dwarka Sector 21 metro stations).

“The goal of the Common Mobility Card is quite clear. Wherever you travel, whichever public transport you travel, this one card will give you integrated access. That is, one card is sufficient for every place. It will run everywhere. This one card will give integrated access to the commuters wherever they travel, whichever public transport they take,” Modi added.

This National Common Mobility Card was launched in March 2019. It allows users to pay for travel, toll duties, retail shopping, and withdraw money.

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