The Delhi Metro Rail Corporations first airlifted coach from Parchim in Germany landed at Delhis IGI Airport on a colossal Antonov AN-124 aircraft on Thursday. The aircraft was delayed by a few hours following a technical snag and had to land in Bulgaria on the way here.
This is the first of eight Metro coaches a total of two trains that are due to arrive in the Capital to meet the requirements of Phase II. The trains are being airlifted so that they can be commissioned as quickly as possible to ease travel conditions on the Metro,which has recorded a 30 per cent increase in the number of passengers in the last one year, E Sreedharan,DMRC managing director,said.
The coaches will be taken to the Khyber Pass depot for oscillation trials and other additional works,following which they will be checked by the commissioner of railway safety. Trials will take place on the upcoming Noida line, Sreedharan said.
A total of nine trains will be imported from Germany by Bombardier Transportation,the DMRCs main supplier,of which two are to be airlifted and the rest will be shipped to the Capital. All nine trains will be in by June and four of them will be put on Line 2 (Red Line) and two on Line 3 (Blue Line). The remaining will be for the Noida line,which is yet to come up, Sreedharan said.
The DMRC has postponed the opening of the Noida line,the deadline for which was June this year,because of the shortage of trains. This line requires at least nine trains and we are trying to get them as soon as possible,so that we can start our operations, Sreedharan said.
The new coaches,known as Movia Cars,will have some special features such as rear-view and CCTV cameras,audio-visual alarms for operation of all doors (inside and outside),dynamic route maps on each door (inside),heating,air-conditioning and humidity control,and separate cab air-conditioner.
The new coaches will also have improved wheel disc-brakes with computerised controls and additional external side-displays on each side of the coach for destination indication. The new technologies have been incorporated keeping in mind our experience with the previous coaches,where accidents took place because of the doors. The interior has several changes and even the holding system is different, Sreedharan said.
The first vehicle was built in a record 18 months to save six months for extensive trials, Stephane Rambaud-Measson,president,passenger division of Bombardier,said. Any shortcomings detected will be corrected while manufacturing the rest of the coaches, he said.