Delhi Metro has set an ambitious target, under which the frequency of its trains will go up significantly, ensuring a waiting period of not more than three minutes between trains, for commuters in almost all its sections. Out of the 19 stretches, the number of stretches where trains are available at a frequency of every three minutes or less, is only three now. If the new coaches are deployed, as planned between April 2017 and March 2021, the same will go up to at least 14.
The metro authorities recently submitted a proposal to the Delhi government, for the procurement of 916 new coaches that will translate to 102 new trains. It also includes the conversion of the existing four and six-coach trains to six and eight-coach, respectively.
The proposal, which awaits the clearance of the centre and the city government, is aimed at tackling “extreme overcrowding” in the rapidly expanding network that has seen an annual increase of 17.5% in ridership, in the last five years.
Proposed train frequency
According to the detailed project report (DPR), trains will run every 1 min 54 sec in the Kashmere Gate-Green Park stretch of the yellow line, where the frequency is projected to be the highest.
Presently, the frequency on line 2, one of metro’s busiest corridors that connect Samaypur Badli to Gurgaon’s Huda City Centre, stretch between 2 min 13 sec and 8 minutes. The same will be 1 min 54 sec and 2 min 50 sec, if the new coaches are pressed into service. On line 3/4, that connects Dwarka to Noida City Centre, train frequency will range between 3 min 38 sec and 2 min 25 sec.
“The overall capital cost for the procurement of additional 916 cars including infrastructure facilities, at January 2016 price levels, works out to Rs 13,284 crores. There is a persistent demand from all quarters that the DMRC should endeavour to run the trains with the best possible frequency, to meet the needs of the public transport in the city,” the report prepared by the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) said.
The metro has 227 trains in its fleet currently. The average daily ridership is around 28 lakh, which occasionally crosses the 30 lakh mark and will significantly increase once phase-3 becomes operational next year, for which a separate order of 486 coaches has been placed. The report says line 2 and line 3/4 have provisions for 488 and 574 coaches, while the requirements are 672 and 816.