(Pics) Delhi – Meerut RAPIDX’s Priority Corridor Inaugurated

I’ve kept tabs on Delhi’s RRTS project since its inception in 2008 and can’t believe a part of it is now open!

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi today inaugurated commercial operations on the 17 km long Priority Corridor (Phase 1) of the 82.15 km Delhi – Meerut RAPIDX (RRTS) project.

The launch event for India’s first semi high-speed project took place at Sahibabad RAPIDX Station – view a short video. After flagging off the inaugural 6 coach train, the PM took a ride on a second train to Duhai Depot RAPIDX Station.

Photo by PTI

The Delhi Meerut RRTS line is equipped with Alstom’s European Train Control System (ETCS) hybrid Level 3 signaling system.

Its 40 Alstom trains (rolling stock) have strangely been nicknamed Namo Bharat, a sudden announcement made last night. Designed in Hyderabad and built in Gujarat, they’ll operate at a maximum speed of 160 kmph and average speed of 100 kmph.

Photo by NCRTC

The line’s Priority Corridor connects Duhai – Sahibabad in Uttar Pradesh with 4 stations at Duhai, Guldhar, Ghaziabad and Sahibabad.

17 km priority corridor (Sahibabad – Duhai) – view Delhi – Meerut RRTS info & route map

An additional 5th station at Duhai Depot has been built on the depot-line, which I don’t believe will get much patronage now and in the future when main-line operations begin northward towards Meerut.

Photo by NCRTC

The Delhi – Meerut RRTS line is owned by National Capital Region Transport Corporation (NCRTC), but will be operated and maintained (O&M) by DB RRTS Operations India Pvt Ltd. for a period of 12 years through a Rs. 1493.08 crore contract awarded in May 2022.

Commercial (revenue) operations on the line will start on Saturday at 6 am with trains running every 15 minutes until 11 pm.

Here’s the fare chart (ticket prices) for standard and premium classes:

Source: NCRTC’s press release

For those wondering about the premium class, one coach of each train is reserved for premium class passengers. Access to that coach will be restricted on the platform level via AFC ticketing gates installed and governed by Datamatics & PayTM. NCRTC’s MD wrote about this “double tap” AFC system in further detail on LinkedIn last year.

Premium Class Lounge area – Photo by NCRTC

Premium Class users will have to tap a total of 4 times to complete their journey – first at the departing station’s concourse, then platform, then the destination station’s platform and finally the station’s concourse to exit.

Premium Class coach – Photo by NCRTC

The second coach of every train will be reserved for women.

Photo by PTI

Although the project is majorly funded by Asian Development Bank (ADB) through a USD 1049 million loan, the Priority Corridor’s civil construction was funded through local state government funds to get the project going.

KEC International – CCECC JV built the line’s 7.3 km Package 1 (Sahibabad Ramp – Ghaziabad), while APCO – CRFG JV built 10.3 km Package 2 (Ghaziabad – Duhai EPE). A full list of contractors can be viewed here.

Sahibabad StationPhoto by NCRTC

Here’s a cool video from inside Sahibabad Station by NCRTC (check out their channel for more). The line’s map displayed on the platform level at 00:48 seconds also shows Meerut Metro (MRTS) stations which will be serviced by 3-coach trains, as it should.

The entire 82 km Sarai Kale Khan – Modipuram route is targeted to become operational by June 2025.

That’s entirely possible since major tunneling milestones were recently recorded by STEC and Afcons. On the elevated side of things, I hear Afcons on Package 6 (New Ashok Nagar Ramp – Sarai Kale Khan) just cast their final segment and is on the verge of completing the Delhi section’s viaduct.

For more updates, check out the RRTS section or my Home Page! Sign up for free instant email notifications on new posts over here. Like this post? Get early-access to updates and support the site over here.


written by

Global traveler who prefers mass rapid transit

11 Responses to "(Pics) Delhi – Meerut RAPIDX’s Priority Corridor Inaugurated"

  1. Shashank says:

    Will you be riding tomorrow?

  2. Gaurav says:

    Hey TMRG

    You mentioned in an earlier post that lending agencies are closely looking at the success of Delhi-Meerut RapidX to approve the Alwar and Panipat lines.
    Do you think the ridership on this 17km line will be a good enough indicator for them or they would like to wait until the entire stretch is operational? It’s a given that ridership will go up exponentially once the entire line is operational but I am sure the multi lateral banks would take projections into account based on the ridership of the current network.

    What are your thoughts on it?

    • TMRG says:

      Hi, lending agencies approve loans based on a combination of hitting construction milestones, operational efficiencies, social (PAP rehabilitation) and environmental improvement / mitigation related actions. They know this is just a small segment of the entire project 🙂

      Here they’ll be closely looking at how efficiently operations are being run, what activities NCRTC and DB RRTS are engaged in to promote ridership (think of feeder services, FOBs) what the government is doing to improve ridership through improvement in station dispersal area (sidewalks/footpaths), transit-oriented developments, increase in Floor Area Ratio (FAR) etc. near stations.

  3. krishnan says:

    I am glad this got done but it is pretty disappointing tbh. This project was started in 2008 but has dragged on till now – and even the Delhi-Meerut line is not fully finished. It will take until 2026 at least. That’s 18 years to build a single line!!

    And what about the other lines they havent’s even started construction on them. They are still changing the alignment on the Gurugram-SNB-Alwar line while there is consensus on building the Delhi-Panipat line.

    Outside the NCR, it is even worse. There is no concrete DPR approved by the Central govt to build RRTS in Chennai or Hyderabad or Bengaluru despite the grand announcements. If they get started at all, it will take decades!!!

    They should focus on completing the Chennai MRTS extension that has also been pending 15byears for a 5km stretch and properly build Bengaluru phase 3 to Sarjapura, JP Nagari and Hebbal. Also the Mumbai Metro line 5 needs to extended to Kalyan and Metro line 12 to Taloja.

    Even more important than all these things for a holistic national development, we need the Dedicated Frieght Corridors from Mumbai to Kolkata via Nagpur and the Chennai-Tumkur-Dharwad-Pune freight Corridor as they are of at most importance to the nation’s industrial development. The DFCs are the important travel infrastructure project for the country! The Atal DFC line from Mundra port to Ahmedabad through Indore Bhopal Ranchi to Siliguri is needed ASAP.

    • TMRG says:

      The concept of RRTS came up in 2008. Project got going in 2018 with construction starting in 2019-end. 4 years is all it took for the Priority Corridor to begin operations – that’s incredible. Other civil packages (3 to 8) were awarded in 2020-2021 and should become operational in late 2024 – late 2025, again an incredible speed looking at the scale of this project and metro project timelines.

      Totally agree on other much-needed projects you highlighted. I’m hoping other cities come up with their own RRTS proposals and approach the Central Government. Bangalore’s Suburban Rail project comes close, but I don’t believe it’ll have trains as fast as RapidX.

  4. Krishnan says:

    Thanks for your patient reply TMRG. Are you in the US? If you are on the West Coast, we can meet sometime.

    • vivek beri says:

      amazing =>The Delhi Meerut RRTS line is equipped with Alstom’s European Train Control System (ETCS) hybrid Level 3 signaling system.

  5. Rahul says:

    OMS Felling today I’m was riding

  6. Rahul says:

    Followed the construction update of this project since the day it started.
    From the vlogs of RS Live and Detox Traveller.
    I was waiting for it’s inaugural ride since June. Now in October when I am out of Delhi, It has been inaugurated. I will have to wait few more days to take a ride. I am really excited for it.


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