Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated India’s first-ever driverless train on Delhi Metro’s Magenta Line, which connects Janakpuri West and Botanical Garden, on Monday. The inaugural event, which was held virtually, was also attended by Delhi chief minister Arwind Kejriwal.
“This shows how fast India is progressing towards a smart system. The Delhi metro is now connected through National Common Mobility Card (NCMC),” PM Modi said on the occasion.
With these new-generation trains, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) has entered the elite league of “7 percent of world’s Metro networks” which can operate services without drivers, according to DMRC.
“The first metro in Delhi was started with the efforts of Atal Ji. When our government was formed in 2014, only 5 cities had metro services and today 18 cities have metro rail services. By 2025, we will take this service to more than 25 cities,” PM Modi added.
PM Modi in the virtual event also said that in 2014, only 248 kilometers of Metro lines were operational in the country, while today it is about three times more. However, by 2025 the government is trying to expand it to 1700 kilometers.
A few years ago, there was not much focus on smart systems. There was a lackadaisical approach, so we saw a huge difference between urbanization and technological development. Our government changed that,” he added.
The NCMC – dubbed as ‘One Nation One Card’, which will be fully operationalized on Delhi Metro’s Airport Express Line, will enable anyone carrying a RuPay-Debit Card issued from any part of the country to travel on the route. The facility will be available on the entire Delhi Metro network by 2022, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said, according to PTI.
PM Modi sought to showcase this “next-generation infrastructure for Delhi” example as an initiative for his flagship “Make In India” scheme. “Make In India is very important for the expansion of Metro services. It reduces cost, savings foreign currency and provides more employment to Indian people,” he said.
Here is a list to know more about India’s first driverless train:
- The first ‘driverless’ train in the country 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 PMO said in a statement that the driverless trains will be fully automated which will eliminate the possibility of human error.
- The driverless train technology was inaugurated on the Magenta Line, connecting Janakpuri West and Botanical Garden, but will be extended to the Pink Line (Majlis Park-Shiv Vihar) by mid-2021.
- The extension of this technology to the Pink Line will increase the driverless network on the Delhi Metro to around 94 km, which is nearly 9 percent of Delhi Metro’s total network.
- The ‘driverless’ trains will have six coaches. Each coach can accommodate a maximum of 380 passengers, which translates to 2,280 passengers on each train.
- It will be equipped with several advanced features such as better regeneration of energy during braking, energy-efficient subsystems like LED lighting and air conditioning systems. They are designed for a maximum speed of 95 kmph and operational speed of 85 kmph, the Delhi Metro had said.
- 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.
- With this, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation will enter the elite league of 7 percent of the world’s Metro networks, which can operate without drivers.
Initially, the inaugural was set for May this year. However, due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, it had to be postponed.