Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) started the operation on its Line 8 (Magenta Line), connecting Kalkaji Mandir to Botanical Garden (12.64 kms). Hon’ble Prime Minister of India flagged off the first journey on 25 December 2017. DMRC will start the remaining stretch of the line from Janakpuri West to Kalkaji Mandir (23.34 kms) by March 2018. This circular line will have interchanges with the Yellow (Hauz Khas), Blue (Janakpuri / Botanical Garden), and the Violet lines (Kalkaji) of the Delhi Metro network.
The new line has significantly reduced travel time between South Delhi and Noida, as it takes just 19 minutes from Kalkaji Mandir to Botanical Garden. Earlier, the commuters need to travel through Blue and Violet Lines, which used to take 52 minutes, with interchange facility at Mandi House station. DMRC has projected that the opening of new line will have multiplier effect on the ridership as people can have more direct links between destinations.
Some of the key features of Line 8 (Magenta Line) are:
1. DMRC has introduced new generation trains, which can operate without drivers, built by Hyundai Rotem and Bharat Earth Movers Limited in India. Delhi Metro has built driver cabin in the trains as there will be driver in the train in the initial phases. However, DMRC has planned to move towards complete driverless operation by end of 2019.
2. Automated trains run on this section aided by the Communication Based Train Control (CBTC) signalling technology. This new-age signalling system can facilitate movement of trains with a frequency of 90 to 100 seconds. Initially, trains are operated with a frequency of five minutes and 14 seconds on this section.
3. DMRC has installed platform screen doors (PSDs) at all the station. This is first time, screen doors are installed on Delhi Metro network.
4. DMRC is operating broad-sized coaches (3.2 meters) on the standard gauge track of the Magenta Line. This will also allow 30-40 more passengers than the capacity of coaches running on a standard gauge.
5. The new trains has introduced colourful seats concept in new trains, with pink seats in the Women's coach, orange and blue in the general cars and specific hues to demarcate seats reserved for senior citizens and the specially-abled.
6. Delhi Metro has introduced energy-efficient trains on Line 8, which would save about 20 percent energy compared to the existing coaches. Further, the coaches running on this line have electronic information display, multi-handle rails, power charging capacity, including directly through USB ports.
7. DMRC has currently deployed 10 trains on this new line and will keep two trains on reserve - Kalkaji Mandir and Botanical Garden stations.
UITP - DMRC organised seminar on "Metro Rail Projects - A Future Perspective" on 15-16 December 2017. Further, technical visit was organised on 16 December 2017 to see Operational Control Centre for Automated Line and Line 8 (Magenta Line) - Janak Puri to Botentical Garden.