New Delhi, India (Metro Rail Today): The RAPIDX train project has achieved a significant breakthrough by starting trial runs at an impressive speed of 160 kmph on the 17-km priority route connecting Sahibabad to the Duhai depot. These tests are conducted between 6 am and 11 pm, with empty trains running every 15 minutes to detect potential technical issues. The much-anticipated public service on this section is expected to begin shortly.
The testing strategy aims to ensure a smooth transition once the priority route is fully operational. Presently, RAPIDX trains mirror the planned service schedule, operating from 6 am to 11 pm out of the Duhai depot. The National Capital Region Transport Corporation (NCRTC), overseeing the project, states that the operational framework of RAPIDX train services is carefully simulated to guarantee seamless operations.
The complete 82-km Delhi-Ghaziabad-Meerut corridor is slated to open to the public by 2025. These trains are projected to cover the distance from Delhi to Meerut in 60 minutes, with a frequency of availability every 5 to 10 minutes. However, the 17-km priority route, which includes five stations - Sahibabad, Ghaziabad, Guldhar, Duhai, and Duhai Depot - is set to become operational for the public in the near future.
The inauguration of operations on this priority route has received the approval of the Commissioner for Metro Rail Safety, Government of India. Additionally, the Ministry of Railways has granted approval for the RRTS rolling stock, renowned for its sleek design and impressive top speed of 180 kmph.
The Duhai depot serves as the hub for all RAPIDX operational activities. Presently, ten trainsets are stationed here, with the capacity to house thirteen. The depot includes 11 stabling lines, two workshop lines, three inspection bay lines, and one robust internal cleaning line to support train maintenance and testing. The facility also houses crucial features like the test track, workshop, and automated coach washing plant.
Prior to daily operations, a comprehensive fitness check is performed on the train the night before. Pre-departure assessments focus on internal elements such as passenger seats and grab handles, ensuring they are free from damage. Fire extinguishers' locking pins are inspected, and exterior components like headlights, flasher lights, and door indicators are verified for proper functioning.
The Duhai depot is also home to pivotal control centers, including the Operation Control Centre, Depot Control Centre, and Security Control Centre. These centers work tirelessly to ensure safe travel, minimize disruptions in operations, and uphold passenger service quality.
The RAPIDX initiative has sparked enthusiasm among locals, as it promises to be the most efficient mode of regional transportation. This excitement is shared by Nandini Shekhar, principal of DPS, HRIT Campus, who observed students' eagerness to witness the trains from their school. Siddhi Srivastava, a Class V student residing in Duhai, eagerly anticipates her firsthand experience of the new trains.
The RAPIDX network is set to expand with two additional corridors - Delhi-Gurgaon-SNB-Alwar and Delhi-Panipat. The first corridor's development will unfold in three phases, encompassing a 107-km stretch from Sarai Kale Khan in Delhi to SNB Urban Complex. The second stage involves extensions to Sotanala, while the third stage proposes a 58-km SNB-Alwar extension. Moreover, the Delhi-Panipat corridors will establish crucial links between the capital and key locations in Haryana.
With modernization taking the lead, the RAPIDX project represents a groundbreaking shift in regional transportation, instilling a sense of anticipation for its upcoming launch.
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