In a bid to increase efficiency and safety in train operations, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) is planning to switch to driverless train operations (DTO) on the Delhi Metro’s Botanical Garden-Janakpuri West (Magenta Line) and Majlis Park-Shiv Vihar (Pink Line) route from next year, a DMRC spokesperson said, reports Financial Express.
According to the report, the DMRC will eventually switch to unattended train operations (UTO) by using a state-of-the-art signalling technology called the communication-based train control (CBTC).
With the help of CBTC, the drivers on the Delhi Metro network will be replaced with roaming attendants from May 2020. The attendants, instead of being in driver’s cabin, will move across the train to help passengers. The attendants will be multi-skilled personnel, apart from being trained as drivers too.
The CBTC will also help in increasing the frequency as well as safety of the trains. The system will bring down the minimum distance between two trains, leading to increased number of the train operations during regular metro services.
Delhi Metro’s trains on Pink and Magenta line will be operated in the UTO mode in a phased manner. The DMRC will operate it in stages from Grade of Automation 2 (GoA2) to GoA3 and finally to GoA4, which are completely unattended train operations.
As per the report, testing and commissioning for UTO are going on and the expected deadline for operations under GoA3 is May 2020, according to the DMRC.
The trial runs in driverless mode has already been carried out by the DMRC during non-revenue hours. However, for the implementation of UTO operation, DMRC will engage a consultant for inspection, testing and review of various systems. An audit of the overall preparedness of the Delhi Metro network would be conducted by the consultant.
Currently, the trains on Pink and Magenta lines of Delhi Metro are manually started by the drivers following which signalling system takes over the operations including speed, stopping trains as well as door opening. The closing of doors is controlled by the driver but even that can be taken over by the operations control centre.