The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) has announced a significant increase in the operational speed of the Airport Express Line, now reaching a whopping 120 kilometers per hour (KMPH), starting from September 17th, 2023.
This remarkable achievement marks a substantial upgrade from the previous speed of 90 KMPH and is the result of meticulous planning and relentless effort by DMRC engineers in collaboration with various government agencies and domain experts.
To facilitate this speed upgrade, the DMRC embarked on a massive project involving the replacement of over 2.6 lakh tension clamps along the entire corridor. Most of this work was carried out during nighttime hours, between 11 PM and 7 AM, to minimize disruption to regular services. An impressive team of over 100 workers worked tirelessly to complete this task.
Prior to the commencement of this monumental undertaking, the efficacy of these clamps was meticulously evaluated on a kilometer-long trial track. Advanced instruments were employed to measure various parameters, including vibrations and stresses on the rails. Astonishingly, DMRC managed to complete this task in just six months, well ahead of the estimated 18-month timeline.
To ensure the safety and integrity of the system, a sophisticated setup consisting of 3D accelerometers and strain sensors was deployed to continuously monitor vibrations and strains on the tracks at different speed levels. This rigorous testing included monitoring oscillations at speeds ranging from 90 KMPH to the newly achieved 120 KMPH, allowing DMRC officials to gain insights into the system’s behavior and response.
Furthermore, the signaling infrastructure underwent thorough verification, including software checks and safety certifications for both the main system and subsystems operating at such high speeds. Extensive testing of signaling equipment was carried out over two months, involving track, rolling stock, and traction.
During non-revenue hours, the Over Head Equipment (OHE) system was also adapted to accommodate train speeds of 120 KMPH. Following these extensive efforts, DMRC successfully increased the operational speed of Metro trains on the Airport Express Line to 100 KMPH on March 22nd, 2023, and then further to 110 KMPH on June 22nd, 2023. Now, the speed is set to soar to 120 KMPH, with safety certifications already in place.
With this remarkable speed upgrade, the travel time from New Delhi to Yashobhoomi Dwarka Sector-25 will be reduced to approximately 21 minutes, down from the previous 22 minutes, resulting in a saving of 3 minutes. The travel time between New Delhi and Terminal – 3 Airport will be approximately 15 minutes and 30 seconds, significantly shorter than the previous duration of just over 18 minutes.
This significant enhancement in speed not only showcases DMRC’s commitment to improving commuter experience but also paves the way for quicker and more efficient travel to and from Delhi Airport. Passengers can look forward to a faster and smoother journey on the Airport Express Line.