Delhi Metro unveils first refurbished train after 14 years

New Delhi: In a first-ever mid-life overhaul of its old rolling stock, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) on Monday unveiled its first refurbished train which was introduced into service 14 years ago as part of its Phase-I network.

This exercise is part of a special drive undertaken by the Delhi Metro to retrofit and upgrade to modern standards all 70 trains which were procured by the urban transporter between 2002-2007, and the plan is to complete refurbishment of the first set of 10 trains by September next year, a senior official said.

The first upgraded train, now equipped with LCD display, fire alarm system, CCTV cameras inside and outside coaches and in train operator’s cabins, emergency button, charging socket for mobile phone and laptops including via USB cables, new flooring and redone exterior, was unveiled by DMRC Managing Director Mangu Singh at the Yamuna Bank Depot here.

“We have unveiled today the first refurbished train which was introduced into service in 2007. The upgrade process took about two years. An average life span of a metro train is about 30 years, and the trains procured during Phase-I, from 2002-2007 have already completed 14-19 years of their overall life span,” Executive Director, DMRC’s Corporation Communications, Anuj Dayal told reporters.

Hyundai Rotem is the maker of the refurbished train that was unveiled today, he said, adding that the exercise has been carried out to “upgrade the old stock to modern standards and equipping it with latest technology, as many features we see in latest trains running on Phase-III network, were not present in 2002-2007 period”.

“Also, this is being done to increase the comfort level of commuters as the flooring had become uneven and cracks had developed at some places. That has now been replaced with fibre composite boards to enhance amenities and aesthetic look,” Dayal added.

He said the DMRC endeavours to maintain its trains in fine condition, through its three-day to eight-year maintenance regimen.

But, this is a “first-ever mid-life overhaul exercise” that the DMRC has taken, since it began operations, Dayal said, adding that electrical equipment has also been upgraded.

Delhi Metro had begun its commercial operations on December 25, 2002, a day after then prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had inaugurated DMRC’s first stretch, spanning 8.2 kilometre from Shahdara to Tis Hazari, with just six stations.

Dayal also told reporters that DMRC trains, on an average, run 400-600 km a day and 16-18 hours a day.

The senior DMRC official said, in the next 10 months, the plan is to refurbish one train per month, and complete the retrofitting and upgrade of the first set of ten trains by September 2022.

Initially, out of the 10 trains, a set of seven are being refurbished at DMRC’s Yamuna Bank Depot and three trains at Shastri Park Depot, he said.

The refurbishment is being carried out by a consortium of Escorts Limited’s Railway Equipment Division and South Africa-based Naledi Rail Engineering, the DMRC said.

The DMRC network’s current span is nearly 392 km with 286 stations (including the Noida Greater Noida Metro Corridor and Rapid Metro, Gurgaon).

In another milestone for the DMRC, driverless train operations on 59-km Pink Line of the Delhi Metro was started from November 25 this year.

India’s first-ever driverless train operations on the Delhi Metro’s Magenta Line was inaugurated on December 28 last year by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

With this, the total stretch of DMRC’s network which is under driverless operations, now stands at close to 97 km, putting Delhi Metro at fourth position globally, among such networks, officials earlier said.