The Delhi Metro does not plan to operate overnight trains on its Airport Line, a proposal which was floated last year, DMRC chief Mangu Singh has said. The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) had conducted a survey last year to assess the feasibility of running trains beyond midnight, which was primarily aimed to serve passengers going abroad. “We do not plan to operate trains overnight at this point. In any case, even presently we get only few hours at night for maintenance and related works,” Singh said, when asked about the status of the plan.
At present, trains operate between 4.45 am and 11.40 pm on the 23-km-long corridor, also known as the Orange Line. The Delhi Metro had been toying with the idea since 2008 but Singh’s words suggest that the plan has been shelved, at least for the time being. Worldwide, late night metro services are available in a few cities. It is still a rarity and there have been protests by workers in London, where late night tube services were launched only last year, against the move.
In Washington, last December, authorities concerned had decided to suspend late night subway services for a period of two years. Select lines of the the New York subway system provide overnight services. The Airport Line stretches between the New Delhi Metro Station and Dwarka Sector 21. The DMRC has recently invited bids for its extension till Dwarka Sector 25, where an international convention centre is being constructed.
The high-speed corridor had struggled to attract commuters at one point. Trains run every 10 minutes between 8 am and 8.30 pm and it takes around 20 minutes to reach the IGI Airport here from the New Delhi station on this line. The DMRC took over the operations of the Airport link in July 2013 after Reliance Infrastructure’s subsidiary Delhi Airport Metro Express Private Ltd (DAMEPL) terminated its concessionaire agreement.