'Driverless' trains begin trial run on Magenta Line

The Delhi Metro on Thursday started trial runs on Okhla Vihar to Kalkaji Mandir section using its new “driverless” trains.

This 9.5 km long stretch is part of the upcoming Magenta Line from Janakpuri West to Botanical Garden.

“The Delhi Metro’s new Unattended Train Operations (UTO) enabled trains will operate on this corridor. The new trains, with extremely high levels of automation, will now undergo rigorous trials between these stations to ensure that they are ready for smooth operations after the commissioning of the corridor,” said an official with the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC).

“Initially, train operators will run the trains, but gradually, driverless operations (on the UTO mode) will be possible,” the official added.

During these trials, the interface of the Metro will be checked to ensure that “there is no physical infringement with civil infrastructure during the movement of the train on the track and also testing of various subsystems of coaches will be done,” said the DMRC.

“Later on, in stages the new signaling technology will be implemented on this corridor and communication based train control will also undergo rigorous testing. The response of the train at different speeds, braking of the train and the interconnection with the operations control centre will also be monitored during the trials,” it added.The behaviour of the track system and the over head electrification will be checked repeatedly, the official said.

This particular section from Kalindi Kunj till Kalkaji Mandir consists of seven elevated stations — Kalindi Kunj, Jasola Vihar Shaheen Bagh, Okhla Vihar, Jamia Milia Islamia, Sukhdev Vihar, Okhla NSIC and Kalkaji Mandir. “Civil work on all stations is complete. Gradually, the trial runs will be expanded to the other sections of the corridor,” said an official.

The depot has been built at Kalindi Kunj which will cater to the Janakpuri West – Botanical Garden corridor. “This depot is unique as its stabling sheds will be elevated on a separate deck, which in turn will be covered by solar panels,” he added. The Delhi Metro had begun trial runs on its heritage line, ITO to Kashmere Gate on Wednesday.

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