The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) has entered the class of world’s Metro networks that operate without drivers. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi flagged off the driver less train on Magenta Line between Janakpuri West and Botanical Garden in New Delhi.
The driver less trains are a milestone in the developed of metro trains in the country. The Unattended Train Operation (UTO) or Driverless Train Operation (DTO)) is now implemented only on Line 7 and Line 8 of the DMRC. These lines developed in the third phase of expansion are equipped with an advanced signalling technology which makes the transition possible.
DMRC started its operations on December 24, 2002 on the 8.4-km stretch between Shahdara and Tis Hazari. The DMRC said that they are on converting the 57 km long Pink Line from Majlis Park to Shiv Vihar also as driverless by mid 2021.
Though the DMRC has gone the driverless mode, the trains are still remotely controlled. The engineers at the command rooms (Operations Control Centre -OCC), track and monitor train movement.
Driverless Train Operation
The DTO mode allows the control of trains fully from the three command centres of the DMRC. The Communication Based Train Control (CBTC) signalling technology also helps to monitor and troubleshoot every aspect of train operations from a remote place. In DTO mode, manual intervention is only required in cases of hardware replacement. The DTO system is still one step away from the Unattended Train Operation (UTO) mode, which is considered the final stage of driver-less services.
Drivers on board and safety
Though the DMRC is shifting to UTO mode, there will be roving attendants who will intervene in case of emergencies or other types of failures. The DMRC has said that their trains run with a considerable degree of automation. It said that high-resolution cameras would be installed soon that will get rid of manual monitoring of the tracks.