For the second day in a row, the Delhi Metro’s Blue Line faced serious technical snags as the Operation Control Centre (OCC) lost contact with the trains running on the 57-km corridor due to a power outage. At 11.28 am, the OCC — the nerve centre of the Metro system that tracks and controls the running of all trains — lost the “view and control of the signalling and Automatic Train Control system”, bringing trains to a grinding halt on the Dwarka Sector 21 to Noida City Centre/Vaishali line.
WATCH WHAT ELSE IS IN THE NEWS
The DMRC issued an apology to commuters through a video statement on its official website, in which the official spokesperson Anuj Dayal explained the reasons behind the delay and thanked passengers for maintaining ‘discipline’.
“What happened yesterday and today was that our OCC was not getting signals of the location of the trains. The metro runs on a signalling-based system to ensure safety and we are very cautious about the running of trains. When the OCC lost touch, we divided the line into 17 stretches and locally monitored the movement of trains,” Dayal said in the video.
“As trains were run at a slower speed, there was bunching, leading to delays on the line. Due to the technical snag, centralised operation of trains was not possible during the period as train IDs were lost. So every interlocking station on the line was told to operate trains at local (station) level. In this scenario, interlocking stations were given permission to allow trains and control the movement of trains locally. There are 17 interlocking train stations on the line,” he added.
An interlocking station is one where trains can change tracks and have reversal facility. Station controllers manage the trains manually through tetra phone sets and manually give directions to the train operators over phone to go ahead.
“Power was restored at the OCC at 11.32 am and the centre took charge at 11.43 am. The OCC then started giving identification numbers to each train from 11.49 am and completed the process at 12.20 pm,” an official statement read.
On Wednesday, Metro services on the same line were hit for hours due to Track Circuit Drop — a signalling failure at Dwarka — and yet another glitch in the evening due to a power supply failure at the OCC.
The recurrent incidents have put Metro officials in a spot as the mass rapid transit system is set to make a giant leap into Automatic Train Operations system on two upcoming corridors in Phase III, where trains will run without drivers.