The Delhi Metro plans to overhaul 10 of its old trainsets, inducted way back in 2002, within the next year, as part of the corporation’s efforts to bring uniformity in passenger experience across its old and new corridors.
As part of the initiative, the DMRC has invited bids for “retrofit” work of 74 coaches built in South Korea that make up the 10 trainsets, which ply on the Red Line and Blue Lines of the 389 km network spanning Delhi-NCR.
Metro services are currently unavailable due to the coronavirus pandemic. While a detailed Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) has been chalked out for managing services, the Centre is yet to approve resumptions of operations.
Refurbishment work will be carried out at the DMRC’s Shastri Park, Najafgarh and Yamuna Bank depots, according to the tender document. There are over 280 such coaches, making up around 70 trains, which have been operational since 2002.
A DMRC official said Metro coaches have a lifespan of around 30-35 years. But to ensure longevity, such mid-life interventions are required to resolve issues arising out of prolonged wear and tear.
The overhaul will cover flooring, space between two coaches, interiors, charging facilities, display panels, CCTVs and safety systems including smoke and fire detection. The estimated cost of the project is Rs 62.28 crore.
Trains plying on corridors built under Metro’s Phase III expansion such as Pink and Magenta Lines are equipped with features such as stretched digital display panels, vibration and heat insulators, USB ports for charging mobiles and laptops among others.
The old coaches, especially on the Red Line and Blue Line, lack many of these features. After the overhaul, these coaches will also have panels displaying real-time train movement between stations, CCTVs, along with arrangements of the video feed being available inside the train operators’ cabin.
Such an extensive cleaning exercise could not be undertaken before as trains run up to 20 hours a day, from dawn till midnight. The cleaning exercise would result in a better air-conditioned environment in summers, a DMRC official added.