We have a date! Per an industry source, the 17 km long Priority Corridor of the 82.15 km Delhi – Meerut RAPIDX (RRTS) project will be inaugurated on October 20, 2023 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The line will open for commercial (revenue) operations on October 21 at 6 am.
The Priority Corridor of this semi high-speed project, India’s first, by National Capital Region Transport Corporation (NCRTC) will connect Duhai – Sahibabad in Uttar Pradesh with 4 stations at Duhai, Guldhar, Ghaziabad and Sahibabad.
At Ghaziabad RAPIDX Station, users will be able to connect to the Delhi Metro Red Line’s Shaheed Sthal (New Bus Adda) Station via a foot overbridge.
Trial runs (testing) on this elevated line, with an average speed of 100 kmph and design speed of 180 kmph, started in December 2022. The line’s civil and systems were inspected and approved by the Commissioner of Metro Railway Safety (CMRS) in June 2023.
The line will be serviced by 30 6-coach Alstom trains designed in Hyderabad and built in Gujarat. NCRTC has so far received 10 trains at Duhai Depot which was built by VNC – KEC JV. A full list of train features and images from inside & outside can be viewed here.
NCRTC hasn’t shared their operational game plan (frequency, timings etc.) yet. We should hear more about that a day or two prior to its inauguration on October 20 (Friday).
The next civil package I see opening will definitely be 33 km Package 3 (Duhai – Shatabdi Nagar) in late-2024 where Larsen & Toubro completed launching segments for its viaduct this year. I see underground Package 4 (Sahibabad Ramp – Ashok Nagar Ramp) on the south-side opening in 2025 after STEC recently recorded its final tunnel breakthrough.
It goes without saying, but the success of this line will play a role in how quickly the rest of the RapidX network to Alwar and Panipat is funded and approved. I know several lending agencies are keeping a close eye on it. The recent construction of the Delhi – Meerut Expressway doesn’t help and will definitely cannibalize ridership, but India needs and can live with both in the long run.
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