Metros Unlocked: Intracity Railways In India

Metros Unlocked: Intracity Railways In India

As Metros are reopening across India, let us take a look at the new protocols to be followed as well as some facts on India’s Metro trains.

Crux of the Matter

Reopening Metros
In Unlock 4.0, Metro train services have been resumed across most cities in India including Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai, Kochi, and Hyderabad. Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri had announced to partially restart metro trains by 7 September, 2020, with all the network routes expected to be open by 12 September.

Metro rail is likely to be started by the 3rd week of September in Jaipur and by 14 September in Kolkata. On 7 September, Chennai Metro trains recorded 5,033 passengers, while the number was 3,770 for Bangalore Metro on the same day. On 9 September, Hyderabad Metro recorded 31,000 passengers, while 33,300 passengers travelled on 9 September in Delhi Metro between 7-11 AM alone.

New Measures

  • Contact-less ticket purchase (smart cards or QR code tokens).
  • Entry permitted after thermal screening and hand sanitization.
  • Sanitization of the train at the end of its journey.
  • Mask compulsory.
  • Trains to operate at reduced capacity to maintain social distancing. Kochi Metro train started with a reduced capacity of 159 passengers per train – ran with maximum capacity of 975 passengers before Covid-19 pandemic.

Mumbai has local trains running, where only Government employees and essential workers are allowed. More than 300 people gathered in protest on 8 September, labelling the State Buses “inadequate” for their use.

Quick Facts About Metros In India

  • Conceptualized first in the 1920s, Kolkata Metro rail line was the first such line in India. However, the services were started in 1984 on a 3.4 km section between Esplanade and Bhowanipur (now Netaji Bhavan).
  • The first modern Metro Train in India was initiated in Delhi in 2002.
  • Delhi has a Metro network length of ~389 km, making it the longest network in India.
  • 2011: Bangalore witnessed its first “Namma Metro” (Our Metro); it was the first Metro rail line in South India.
  • 2013: The Rapid Metro Rail was started in Gurgaon, which is the first “privately owned and operated metro” of India.
  • Most Indian Metro rails are of ‘standard gauge’ with the exception of early lines of Delhi and Kolkata.

  • The world’s first rapid transit (metro) system was the Metropolitan Railway which opened in 1863, and now forms part of the London Underground. The London underground system has 270 stations and 400 km of track.
  • China has the largest number of rapid transit systems in the world at 31, with over 4,500 km of lines and is responsible for most of the world’s metro transit expansion in the past decade. The world’s longest single-operator metro system by route length is the Shanghai Metro.
  • Automatic train operation (ATO) is an operational safety enhancement device used to help automate the operation of trains. The Victoria line of the London Underground opened in 1968 as the world’s first full-scale automatic railway.