Driverless train operations on New Delhi’s Pink Line were inaugurated by union housing and urban affairs minister Hardeep Singh Puri and the Delhi government’s transport minister Kailash Gahlot on Thursday.
The move makes the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) the fourth biggest driverless Metro railway network in the world. The Pink Line, which connects Majlis Park with Shiv Vihar, is the longest Metro corridor in the Capital.
The Pink Line is also the second Metro corridor in New Delhi to have driverless train operations. Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the country’s first driverless operations on the DMRC’s Magenta Line - connecting Botanical Garden with Janakpuri West - in December 2020.
Puri said at the inauguration, “The DMRC is now the fourth largest driverless network [in the world]. The difference between the DMRC and Kuala Lumpur’s operational driverless network (No. 3 in the world) is just 500m. In less than a year, we added 58km to the driverless network… I can say with confidence that Delhi Metro can be compared with the best [metro systems].”
Gahlot said, “This is a milestone. Despite all the difficulties, the DMRC has completed the work. It will ensure passenger safety and minimise chances of human errors.”
The flagging off event for driverless trains was done via videoconferencing.
The DMRC’s driverless network now stands at a total of 96km, which is 9% of world’s total driverless Metro operations.
Dubai, Singapore, Shanghai, Vancouver and Kuala Lumpur are among the few cities that have driverless Metro train services.
Once the DMRC completes construction work on the Maujpur-Majlis Park extension corridor by 2023, New Delhi’s driverless Metro network will go up to 109km.
Driverless operations on the Pink Line were scheduled to start earlier this year, but it was delayed as the DMRC couldn’t complete work on the Trilokpuri section, where it had to construct a viaduct.
The section was made operational in August.
DMRC officials said the corridor was inspected by the Commissioner of Metro Rail Safety last week.
The DMRC uses a signalling technology called Communication-based Train Control for driverless train operations.
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