ITs the mantra Delhi Metro chants

Updated: Aug 1 2005, 05:30am hrs
Even as the Delhi Metro gradually expands its coverage in the capital, imagine the role of the driver, when he is manning the most sophisticated underground metro rail in the country. He opens and shuts doors, checks if everyone has embarked and disembarked the role is more scientific and computer-friendly.

Such is the technology employed by the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) that there is complete computerisation of all its activities in the operation stage. Human resources, maintenance, stores, accounts and project execution is interlinked and fully computerised to avoid manual delays, heavy documentation and duplication of inter-departmental activities.

DMRC chief engineer (signal and telecom) Raj Kumar says, the operation system of the metro rail ensures its smooth running with perfect coordination. The three main coordinates of the fully-integrated system are ATP (automatic train protection), ATS (automatic train supervision) and ATO (automatic train operation). Trains plying in the underground section run at a frequency of every two minutes, while the ones on elevated sections ply at a frequency of three minutes.

Mr Kumar says that there is more traffic expected in the underground section compared to the elevated ones. Therefore, while all three systems are used for running the trains for the underground tracks, for elevated sections, only ATS and ATP are used, he says.

The signalling and train control parameters have been worked out keeping in mind the smaller headway of train operation and consequent safety requirement for unhindered operation, he says.

The high-end programming used for running these three systems includes the use of URBALIS, an automation technology with components like MASTRIA (for speed control and automatic train operation), SMARTLOCK (for safe interlocking), ICONIS (for centrally managing the network), and SMARTWAY (to cover all basic needs in train detection, point equipment and signals).

The Delhi Metro uses ballastless tracks, that negate any change in the alignment of the line at any time. The technology has been earlier applied successfully in the tunnels of Konkan Railways.

DMRC has designed and adopted a robust telecom system to streamline normal operations, handling of routine operations and to manage unforeseen incidents and emergencies instantly. Looks like the Delhi Metro is moving full steam ahead.