From tomorrow (17 September) onwards, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) is going to operate the Airport Express Line at a speed of 120 KMPH.
This increase in speed of India’s fastest metro corridor gradually from 90 KMPH to 120 KMPH has been made possible by meticulous planning and time-bound implementation by DMRC engineers in consultation with a number of other government agencies and domain experts.
To facilitate the movement of the trains at such a high speed, over 2.6 lakh tension clamps were replaced on the entire corridor. The bulk of the work was carried out in the night time from 11pm till 7am to ensure minimal hindrance to the smooth operation of services.
Over 100 workers were deployed at a time for this work.
Before taking up this mammoth exercise, the efficacy of these clamps was checked on a kilometre-long trial track. Various measurements including vibration and stresses on rails were carried out using advanced instruments on this trial track before implementing the same on the main corridor.
The estimated timeline for the completion of this task was 18 months. However, DMRC ensured the completion of the work within just six months.
A highly advanced system consisting of 3D accelerometers and strain censors was deployed for continuous measurement of vibrations and strains on the tracks at different speed levels.
Oscillation monitoring was performed at speeds from 90 KMPH to 120 KMPH to ascertain smooth movement at higher speed levels. Tremendous efforts were put in by DMRC officials to analyse the measurement data at various speeds to understand the behaviour and response of the system.
The signalling infrastructure also required verification of all software and safety certifications of the main system and the subsystems at such high speed. The interface testing with rolling stock and passenger information systems was also checked in detail.
The working of the passenger screen doors in coordination with the movement of the train was also done. Extensive testing of all signalling equipment was conducted in a graded manner involving track, rolling stock, traction for over two months.
During the non-revenue hours, the overhead equipment system was also made suitable for the movement of trains at 120 KMPH.
Eventually, after all these efforts, Delhi Metro increased the operational speed of metro trains on the Airport Express Line from 90 KMPH to 100 KMPH on 22 March 2023. The speed of the trains was further increased to 110 KMPH on 22 June 2023.
As mentioned above, the speed shall be further increased to 120 KMPH from tomorrow. The safety certification for the same has already been received earlier this month.
The journey from New Delhi to Yashobhoomi Dwarka Sector-25 will take about 21 minutes. Earlier the travel time between New Delhi and Dwarka Sector – 21 was approximately 22 minutes and now it has reduced to around 19 minutes between these two stations, leading to a saving of 3 minutes.
The approximate travel time between New Delhi and Terminal – 3 Airport will be about 15 minutes and 30 seconds. Earlier, it was a little more than 18 minutes.