Delhi Metro gears up for driverless trains

By Times Headline Writer

Making passenger safety the focus of the next phase of its operation in the national capital, Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) is gearing up to run driverless trains on its new lines.

The corporation is planning the driverless trains for Phase III of its expansion on the 58 km-long Majlish Park-Shiv Vihar (Line 7) and 38 km-long Janakpuri (West) – Botanical Garden (Line 8) corridors.

DMRC will get trains from BEML for Phase III. (File Photo)© Provided by Indian Express DMRC will get trains from BEML for Phase III. (File Photo)

With emphasis on indigenisation and quality products, the DMRC is procuring trains for this phase from Bharat Earth Movers Ltd (BEML). It will procure 504 coaches and trailer plus motor units, of which 384 will be manufactured by the public sector enterprise BEML, which is a sub-contractor of South Korean company Hyundai Rotem.

Executive Director, Rolling Stock, DMRC, S S Joshi said the project emphasis was on local sourcing of material with “no compromise on quality”.

To tackle challenges such as fire episodes or rail fractures that could lead to derailment, the driverless trains will have fire detectors and track cameras to detect breakage. “Features such as obstruction detection equipment and improved communication directly between passengers and the Operation Control Room (OCC) round the clock will also be added in this phase,” he said.

Deepak Kumar Hota, CMD, BEML, said that about 70 per cent of a Metro coach was indigenous, with BEML pushing for local sourcing “except for a few critical aggregates like doors, air conditioners and most of the components are manufactured or sourced locally through vendors. It is BEML’s endeavour to achieve enhanced self reliance by whole heartedly participating in ‘Make in India’ drive with increased sourcing from Indian industries.”

OHE photography, obstruction detection devices, door sensitivity, enhanced dedicated bandwidth for streaming a situation in a train to the OCC will be other safety features of the driverless trains, officials said. Until the driverless trains become fully operational, one attendant will be present in each train to ensure smooth transition from previous models.

BEML, which is catering to nearly 46 per cent of the demand for Metro trains in the country, is executing orders for 96 coaches for DMRC. These will be used to convert six-coach Metro trains to eight-coach ones by the end of next year. The RS 13 coaches will be supplied to DMRC by next August.

These will be used, in a phased manner, to convert six-coach trains to eight-coach ones on the old lines of Metro network that are witnessing enhanced ridership and crowd, DMRC officials said.

With inputs from news agencies