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.
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.
The line’s Priority Corridor connects Duhai – Sahibabad in Uttar Pradesh with 4 stations at Duhai, Guldhar, Ghaziabad and Sahibabad.
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.
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:
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 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.
The second coach of every train will be reserved for women.
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.
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.
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