Airport Line Metro speed to be raised to 120kmph

The operational speed of Delhi Metro’s Airport Express Line will be increased from the existing 110 kmph to 120 kmph starting Sunday, officials aware of the matter said, adding that this is the highest speed achieved by any Metro network in the country so far.

Airport Line Metro speed to be raised to 120kmph

The move, the officials said, will bring down the travel time between the New Delhi and IGI Airport stations from a little over 18 minutes to 15-and-a-half minutes. Meanwhile, the travel time between New Delhi station and the Yashobhoomi Dwarka Sector 25 station — set to be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his 73rd birthday on Sunday — will be around 21 minutes.

Metro services on the stretch from Dwarka Sector 21 to Yashobhoomi Dwarka Sector 25 will be operational for passengers from 3pm, officials said. Those coming to Yashobhoomi Dwarka Sector 25 Metro station by road may enter the station from Gate number 3.

Sunday will be the third time that the operational speed of the Airport Express line will be increased this year — DMRC increased its speed from 90 kmph to 100 kmph on March 22, and the speed of the trains was further increased to 110 kmph on June 22.

DMRC officials said that in order to facilitate the movement of Metro trains at a high speed of 120 kmph, more than 260,000 tension clamps were replaced on the entire corridor, with the bulk of the work carried out between 11pm and 7am to ensure minimal hindrance to existing operation. They said the estimated timeline for the completion of this task was 18 months, but it was completed within six months.

“This historic increase in speed of India’s fastest metro corridor gradually from 90 kmph to 120 kmph has been made possible by meticulous planning and time-bound implementation by DMRC’s engineers in consultation with a number of other government agencies and domain experts,” said a DMRC spokesperson.

As a pilot, the efficacy of these clamps was checked on a kilometre-long trial track. Various measurements, including vibration and stress on the rails, were carried out using advanced instruments on this trial track before implementing the same on the main corridor, officials said.

“A highly advanced system consisting of 3D accelerometers and strain censors was deployed for continuous measurement of vibrations and strains on the tracks at different speed levels. Oscillation monitoring was performed at speeds from 90 to 120 kmph to ascertain smooth movement at higher speed levels. Tremendous efforts were put in by DMRC officials to analyse the measurement data at various speeds to understand the behaviour and response of the system,” the spokesperson said.

Other Metro systems that needed to be upgraded to match the new speed included the signalling infrastructure and interface testing with rolling stock, and passenger information systems, officials said.

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