DMRC has planned to switch to driverless train operations (DTO) on the Delhi Metro Pink Line which extends from Majlis Park-Shiv Vihar and Delhi Metro Magenta Line which extends from Botanical Garden-Janakpuri West from next year.
Delhi Metro network will soon operate trains in driverless mode! The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) has planned to switch to driverless train operations (DTO) on the Delhi Metro Pink Line which extends from Majlis Park-Shiv Vihar and Delhi Metro Magenta Line which extends from Botanical Garden-Janakpuri West from next year, a DMRC spokesperson told Financial Express Online. Delhi Metro will eventually switch to unattended train operations (UTO) utilizing a state-of-the-art signalling technology called the communication-based train control (CBTC).
Delhi Metro driverless trains: Top facts
According to DMRC, some of the prominent features of CBTC and its output which Delhi Metro intends to avail in the coming months are as follows:
- From drivers to roaming attendants: From the month of May 2020, drivers on the Delhi Metro network will be replaced with roaming attendants, with the help of CBTC. Instead of being in the driver’s cabin, the attendants will move across the train to assist the passengers. The roaming train attendants will be multi-skilled personnel, apart from being trained as drivers too.
- Increased frequency and efficiency: This advanced technology, in comparison to the technology used in the older Delhi Metro corridors, allows more efficiency and safety in train operations. CBTC also brings down the minimum distance between two trains, leading to increased frequency of train operations during regular metro services.
- Delhi Metro lines to be planned in automation phases: Delhi Metro Pink line and Delhi Metro Magenta lines are planned to be operated in the UTO mode in a phased manner. DMRC will be operating it in stages from Grade of Automation 2 or GoA2 to GoA3, and finally to GoA4, which are completely unattended train operations. The testing and commissioning for UTO are currently going on, and the tentative deadline for operations under GoA3 is May 2020, according to DMRC.
- Trial runs in driverless mode going on: DMRC has already carried out the trial runs in the driverless mode during non-revenue hours, but it will engage a consultant for the inspection, testing and review of various systems with regard to the implementation of the UTO operation. The consultant will conduct an audit of the overall preparedness of the Delhi Metro network to eventually switch to UTO, and check in case there are any gaps or faults.
At present, on the Delhi Metro Pink line and Delhi Metro Magenta line, the metro trains are started manually by the train driver. From there on, the operations are taken over by the signalling system, which controls all operative features such as speed, stopping to the opening of doors. The driver controls the closing of doors, but even that can be taken over by the operations control centre.