Source: The Economic Times, Apr 21, 2011
NEW DELHI: The Delhi Metro authority has learned from the experience of thousands of commuters who get crushed in rush hour crowds on most lines. It now plans to introduce nine-coach trains in the two new lines coming up under phase III of Metro expansion, which will be able to carry 2,600 passengers on a single journey.
At present, the standard six-coach trains running in the network can carry only 1,500 passengers – which too is a vast improvement on the four-coach trains running till a few months ago.
“The stations on the new lines – Janakpuri to Kalindi Kunj and Mukundpur to Yamuna Vihar – are being designed keeping in mind nine-coach trains,” said a senior DMRC official. These lines will together add 105km to the Metro network. The stations, which will be bigger than the present ones, will also have more escalators and staircases as part of the new design.
The lines that came up in phase I and II can accommodate at most eight-coach trains on broad-gauge lines while the standard lines – like Badarpur-Central Secretariat and Inderlok-Mundka – can have six-coach trains. The nine-coach trains will have two driving motor cars, in the front and the back, with a combination of motor and trailer cars.
The new platforms will be 210 metres long, as opposed to 140 metres (for six-coach trains) or 185 meters (for eight-coach trains). There are 35 stations in the Mukundpur line while there are 22 stations on the Janakpuri line.
“The nine-coach trains will not only have a larger capacity for passengers, they will also enable the DMRC to handle the two new lines with ease because of the enhanced capacity,” a source in DMRC said. The approximate ridership for the Mukundpur-Yamuna Vihar line is expected to be more than five lakh while the expected ridership for Janakpuri-Kalindi Kunj has been put at around 3.5 lakh. Sources said DMRC is expecting the ridership to go up once the lines become operational.
According to officials, the decision to ramp up the capacity of the trains was taken keeping in view the escalating ridership in the present Metro lines. The two longest lines of the Delhi Metro network – HUDA City Centre to Jehangirpuri and Dwarka sector 21 to Noida/Anand Vihar – carry approximately four lakh passengers every day.
The overall ridership is at 16 lakh on the Metro network. This is expected to go up to 40 lakh in 2016, by the time the phase III is completed.
Said a DMRC source, “Since the stations will be bigger in order to accommodate the nine-coach trains, the plan is to optimize the use of space as these stations will be coming up in congested parts of the city.” To ensure that the stations don`t take up too much space, especially the elevated ones, the DMRC is planning to “judiciously” allot space in the station, cutting down the dimensions of the equipment room and the like.