PM Modi Flags off Delhi Metro’s Driverless Train Services

Moments ago, India’s Prime Minister flagged off driverless train operations (DTO) via video conferencing on Delhi Metro’s 38.235 km Magenta Line which connects Janakpuri West and Botanical Garden through 35 stations.

This is a step up from the existing semi-automatic train operations (Automatic Train Protection + Automatic Train Operations), but is still one step away from the Unattended Train Operation (UTO) mode, the final stage of fully-automated driverless operations.

Flagged off!via the live stream
Digital foundation stonevia the live stream

Delhi’s Magenta Line (Line-8) was built in the 162 km Delhi Metro Phase 3 project and opened for commercial operations with Hyundai Rotem-BEML train-sets and Nippon Signal’s SPARCS communications-based train control (CBTC) solution in 2 stages: Botanical Garden – Kalkaji Mandir in December 2017 and Janakpuri West – Kalkaji Mandir in May 2018.

The line’s trains are designed to support UTO with a grade of automation (GoA) level 4, but the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) had until now been operating them semi-automatically at GoA 2, like all other lines on the 347 km network. This involves a train operator performing crucial activities such as monitoring trackside conditions and triggering door closure and train departure.

Back in March, the DMRC awarded SYSTRA with a Rs. 7.78 crore contract to provide guidance and input in framing various procedures in order to move to fully automated driverless operations, with an aim to eliminate any possibility of human error. In its tender notice, it mentioned the operator was originally targeting to move to GoA3 by May 2020 and eventually GoA 4 with true “driverless” operations.

So until DMRC switches to UTO, trains will continue to have roving attendants (operators) on board to intervene in case of emergencies or other types of failures.

Grades of Automation explained – via UITP

Despite being such a hot topic, the DMRC has not revealed when exactly they started trial runs (testing) for DTO and what their future game plan is for going fully automatic (GoA 4). During today’s event, they did however reveal their plan to move to DTO on the Pink Line by June 2021.

Shot at the Kalindi Kunj Depot earlier today

Besides DTO, the Prime Minister also inaugurated the ability for riders to use the National Common Mobility Card (NCMC) services on the 22.70 km Airport Express Line. This inter-operable transport card allows riders to pay for metro & bus travel, toll charges, retail shopping etc. It is being targeted to become available for use on the entire Delhi Metro network by 2022.

For more updates, check out the Delhi section of The Metro Rail Guy!


written by

Global traveler who prefers mass rapid transit

14 Responses to "PM Modi Flags off Delhi Metro’s Driverless Train Services"

  1. Anurag Kumar says:

    Is there any plan for other mrts to be driverless in india??

    • TMRG says:

      All new age metro lines will be capable, but the operators have not drawn up detailed plans as now. Think of Bangalore Phase 2, Chennai Phase 2, Mumbai Metro Line 2+

  2. Vishal Kumar says:

    Hi friends,
    Last week pilling work for patna metro has started. Today while passing by onear Bhootnath road the pilling machine was standing Still.I think due to some problem work had been stopped.And still they are doing soil testing.
    Today I got a new that before the end of this year work for depot will start..
    And what’s about the present progess and status of patna metro..

  3. Abhishek Threja says:

    Do you have any information about kochi water metro

  4. Rupraj Sengupta says:

    Kolkata line has undergone uto trails twice!

  5. Rupraj Sengupta says:

    Line 2 I mean

  6. Himanshu Doria says:

    Hey TMRG, can you start a wiki section on this website explaining various metro transportation related terms ?

  7. Ayush Kumar says:

    What grade of automation is deployed on Airport Metro line?


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