Delhi Metro to run conventional trains on Kirti Nagar Metrolite corridor

New Delhi, India (Metro Rail Today): Those people driving to the northern parts of the city might find a Delhi Metro train zooming past on an adjacent lane marked off only by a fence, in few years. Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) is mulling the use of its conventional trains on the capital’s first metrolite corridor between Rithala and Narela instead of trains with smaller, articulated coaches.

The Metrolite corridor is part of Delhi Metro’s Phase IV project. The trains on this service will run on a nearly 22-km-long, rail-based corridor in the middle of the road, fenced off on both sides. Though no design has been finalised, the plan is to have smaller trains similar to other light rail projects around the globe because the ridership on the route is not expected to be high.

DMRC’s Managing Director Mangu Singh said, “While we have firmed up the alignment, the option of what type of train to use has been kept the typical trains used for light rail projects were designed with sharp curves, steep gradients, etc, in mind and that was why such trains had short coaches. compared with a Delhi Metro coach, which is 22 metres in length, Metrolite coaches are 10-11 metres long. Three coaches are coupled together to form one train unit. The technology is different so that shorter and articulated coaches can negotiate sharper curves. That technology, however, is actually costlier. Delhi’s Metrolite might be a cheaper system since the corridor is not likely to have sharp curves, but a fairly straight alignment. Ultimately, keeping techno-economic considerations in mind, we realised that the conventional metro coach could be suitable. It is probable DMRC would go for that option.

He further added, while the company could possibly use the current metro coaches the overall concept would remain that of the Metrolite, including platforms with sheds in the middle of the road instead of big stations, ticket validators inside trains instead of automatic fare collection gates etc. This is why light rail systems cost less than half of a high-capacity system like a metro network.

In the case of a Metrolite, passengers will be able to  access the platforms in the middle of the road through subways opening to both sides and the middle of the road. While the Metrolite on Rithala-Narela route would be mostly at-grade, the second Metrolite proposed between Kirti Nagar and Dwarka Exhibition-cum-Convention Centre might have elevated sections wherever needed.

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