Driverless metro trains are all set to take over the Pink Line by end of September 30. Currently, only the Magenta Line has trains operating without any manual intervention or on UTO (Unattended Train Operation) mode. The 38-km-long Line connects Janakpuri West with Noida’s Botanical Garden station. The first UTO mode train on this line was flagged off by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on December 28 last year.
The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), however, has not done away with the presence of drivers who are stationed in the front cabins for intervening during emergency situations.
According to official records, the DMRC plans to start operating trains on the Mayur Vihar I-Trilokpuri stations by July 31. Once that happens, the Pink Line will function as a single corridor, with trains running along the up-and-down sections of the 58.6-km-long stretch connecting Majlis Park with Shiv Vihar.
Subsequently, the corporation has set September 30 as the deadline to launch train operations on UTO mode on this Line. While the document refers to UTO mode only on the 1.5-km stretch between Mayur Vihar-I and Trilokpuri only, sources said it will eventually be for the entire corridor.
Running Delhi Metro trains already involve a fairly high degree of automation. On the Red Line and the Blue Line, drivers are in complete control of trains, starting from speed, opening and closing of doors. The target speed is, however, decided by the Automatic Train Protection system, which means drivers cannot run trains above a certain limit.
The remaining corridors, except Magenta Line, are covered by the Automatic Train Operation mode in which drivers only press the departure command after closing doors at every platform. In the case of UTO, every single step is controlled from the central command centres also known as Operations Control Centre.
DMRC has three OCCs, which are akin to air traffic controllers. Teams of engineers deployed in these centres track and monitor real time movement of trains across the 389-km-long DMRC network across Delhi-NCR.