NEW DELHI: The Magenta line of the Delhi Metro has witnessed some of the first upgrades in the overall transport system across the national capital. The first platform screen doors (PSDs) were installed on the Magenta line. Now, a high-tech signalling technology will establish driver-less movement across the city.
The new techonology which is called Communication Based Train Control (CBTC), allows train operations to function without the need of having a human driver present in the metro. The Magenta line (which operates from Botanical Gardens in Noida to Janakpuri West) and the Pink Line (which operates from Majlis Park to Shiv Vihar) will be the two lines to witness the use of this new technology, starting next year.
Additionally, instead of drivers, these metros will now have ‘roaming attendants’. They will move across coaches to assist passengers. Multi-skilled in nature, would also be trained as drivers in cases of any emergency.
This new mode of transporting the metro is called as Unattended Train Operation (UTO). Presently, the trains are operate by a driver. After it starts moving, a signalling system controls speed, and stopping of the metro at stations. The driver has control over opening and closing of doors. With the introduction of UTO mode, drivers will be turned into ‘roaming attendants’ and the entire operation of the metro would be taken over by the UTO mode.
DMRC has successfully completed trial runs with the UTO mode during non-commercial hours but there is still scope for inspection of systems and a review of the overall implementation of the UTO mode. An official from the DMRC said, “We have already got a basic audit done by SMRT corporation, which is a leading multi-modal public transport operator in Singapore, and received a positive feedback.”
DMRC said it hopes that after being introduced to the UTO mode, the public will soon gain confidence to ride the metro without hesitation due to technical changes.