From Sunday, September 17, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) will operate the Airport Express Line at an impressive speed of 120 kilometers per hour, reducing the travel time between New Delhi Railway Station and the airport to just 15 minutes.
Meticulous Planning and Implementation of Airport Line metro
The achievement of running trains at this high speed on India’s fastest metro corridor is the result of meticulous planning and time-bound implementation by DMRC’s engineers. They collaborated with various government agencies and domain experts to make this speed enhancement possible.
Inauguration by Prime Minister
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the first phase of the India International Convention and Expo Centre (IICC), known as YashoBhoomi, in Dwarka. He will also inaugurate the extension of the Delhi Metro’s Airport Express Line from Dwarka Sector 21 to a new metro station at Dwarka Sector 25 on Sunday.
Reduced Travel Times
With the extension of the Airport Line metro from Dwarka Sector 21 to Yashobhoomi Dwarka Sector 25, the total journey time from New Delhi to Yashobhoomi Dwarka Sector-25 will be approximately 21 minutes, saving three minutes compared to the previous travel time. The travel time between New Delhi and Terminal 3 of Delhi Airport will be approximately 15 minutes and 30 seconds, down from a little more than 18 minutes.
Efforts to Achieve High Speed
To enable trains to run at such high speeds, over 2.6 lakh tension clamps were replaced along the entire corridor. Most of this work was carried out during non-revenue hours from 11 pm to 7 am to minimize disruption to services. Advanced instruments were used to measure vibrations and stresses on the tracks during a kilometer-long trial track.
Successful Completion of the Project
Despite an estimated timeline of 18 months, the DMRC successfully completed the task within just six months. They deployed a sophisticated system with 3D accelerometers and strain sensors to continuously measure vibrations and strains on the tracks at different speed levels.
Safety and Testing
Safety certifications, software verification, and interface testing with rolling stock and passenger information systems were thoroughly checked. The Passenger Screen Doors (PSDs) were also tested for coordination with train movement. Extensive testing of all signaling equipment was conducted over two months, and the overhead equipment (OHE) system was made suitable for 120 kmph train movement during non-revenue hours.
The DMRC gradually increased the operational speed of Metro trains on the Airport Express Line, first to 100 kmph on March 22 and then to 110 kmph on June 22, ultimately reaching 120 kmph from September 17. Safety certification for this increase was obtained earlier this month.
This significant achievement will greatly benefit commuters traveling between New Delhi Railway Station and the airport, providing them with a quick and efficient transportation option.