Can Metros Without Drivers Be A Reality in Delhi?

If you have travelled in Delhi by road, especially during the short-lived rainy season, you’d know what a boon the metro is to Delhiites. Of course, the peak hours between 9am and 10am reveal a different (albeit horrifying) story of overcrowded, stuffy trains. You’d actually have push your fellow passenger in to be able to board. So when we first heard of driver-less metros, we thought, can this really be a reality? By Devyani Nighoskar

Starting October, Delhi will have a ‘Magenta Line’ that stretches 36.98kms to connect Janakpuri West and Botanical Garden. What’s interesting is that it will run on Communication Based Train Control (CBCT), a premier signalling technology that will help the Delhi Railways & Metro Corporation bring down its current peak-hour frequency of 135 seconds by 35 seconds.

This new technological venture of DRMC is said to be an advanced version of the technology used in the recently-launched Kochi Metro. According to a DMRC Official, the Magenta Line is said to have higher levels of automation that allows driverless train operations.
The CBCT technology, to be used at two Phase III corridors are expected to be fully functional by March 2018. The trains will run on the same tracks. Currently, the minimum distance kept between two trains varies from 50 metres to 90 metres, however in the Magenta Line (and successive Pink Line), this gap has been reduced to 30 metres, to allow better frequency of trains and more precision in tracking its position.


These trains which were ferried by sea from Gujarat’s Mundra Port have undergone meticulous trial runs and interface and overhead electrification checks. Equipped with such fancy features, the pink and magenta lines will certainly cut across distances, save time and making travel across Delhi and NCR easier and more convenient.

It will be interesting to see if the driverless metro is able to sun smoothly in a city that has as many overcrowded trains in the peak hours.

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