NEW DELHI/SAHIBABAD (UTTAR PRADESH): Semi-high-speed ‘Namo Bharat’ train services will commence on the 17-km priority section of India’s inaugural Regional Rapid Transit System (RRTS) rail corridor, allowing the public access starting Saturday morning.

Delhi to Meerut in 60 Minutes: PM Modi gifts Namo Bharat Rapid Rail to Delhi-NCR

On Friday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi officially inaugurated the Delhi-Ghaziabad-Meerut RRTS Corridor section, marking the event by unveiling a commemorative plaque at the Sahibabad station.

Furthermore, he personally experienced the system’s offerings by taking a ride on one of its trains, highlighting its mission to revolutionize regional travel with high-speed and cutting-edge technology.

RRTS renamed as ‘Namo Bharat’

Union minister Hardeep Singh Puri had announced that the trains of the RRTS will be named ‘Namo Bharat‘ on the eve of its inauguration.
However, in April, the NCRTC had previously named RRTS trains as ‘RAPIDX’.

The priority section, which spans from Sahibabad to Duhai Depot, encompasses five stations: Sahibabad, Ghaziabad, Guldhar, Duhai, and Duhai Depot.
It’s worth noting that the segment extending from Duhai to Duhai Depot serves as a spur branching off from the primary corridor.
“Passenger services are scheduled to commence on the morning of October 21. Train operations will be in effect from 6 am to 11 pm. Initially, trains will run at intervals of 15 minutes, with the possibility of increasing frequency as needed in the future,” an official said.

Novel transit system

The RRTS represents a novel rail-based commuter transit system, offering semi-high-speed and high-frequency services.
It is designed with a maximum speed capability of 180 kmph, while its operational speed potential reaches up to 160 kmph.
Prime Minister Modi laid the foundation stone for the RRTS Delhi-Ghaziabad-Meerut Corridor on March 8, 2019.
The ambitious project aims to make the entire 82.15 km corridor fully operational by June 2025.
Upon achieving full operational status, the corridor is expected to significantly reduce the travel time between Delhi and Meerut to approximately 55 minutes, a substantial improvement from the current three to four hours it takes by road.

Six coaches

Each ‘Namo Bharat’ train will consist of six coaches, among which one is designated as a premium coach.
Notably, one coach in each train is specifically reserved for women, and it is located adjacent to the premium coach.
The seats within these coaches are serially numbered, as per officials.
In addition to the dedicated women’s coach and premium coach, there are also reserved seats for women, individuals with special needs, and senior citizens in the other coaches, according to officials.
Premium coaches are easily identifiable by a distinct color code for their seats and include several commuter-friendly amenities.
These amenities comprise the option to install vending machines, along with additional features like reclining seats, coat hooks, magazine holders, and footrests, enhancing the overall travel experience.
Passengers will access the premium-class coach through a gated premium lounge located on the platforms. These premium lounges are equipped with cushioned seats and vending machines for added comfort and convenience.
According to officials, commuters can travel between Sahibabad and Duhai Depot stations on this line in approximately 12 minutes.

Train fare

For a one-way journey from Sahibabad to Duhai Depot station on the priority section of the RRTS corridor, the fare is set at Rs 50.
However, for the same route, if passengers choose to travel in a premium-class coach, the fare will be Rs 100.
If a passenger enters and exits from the same station, for example, Sahibabad station, the fare for this journey will be Rs 20.
The National Capital Region Transport Corporation (NCRTC) has announced that children with a height below 90 cm will be allowed to travel for free.
The construction of the RRTS corridor is being undertaken by the NCRTC, a joint venture company comprising the central government and the state governments of Delhi, Haryana, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh.
The NCRTC has been entrusted with the responsibility of supervising the development of India’s first RRTS line, connecting Delhi and Meerut.
Commuters have the option to purchase a paper QR code-based ticket, which can be obtained through ticket vending machines (TVM) or acquired from ticket counters at the stations, as per officials.
Ticket vending machines (TVM) equipped with Unified Payments Interface (UPI) capabilities have been installed to facilitate the purchase of paper QR code-based tickets, as well as to recharge the National Common Mobility Card (NCMC).
Passengers have the option to use banknotes, bank cards, National Common Mobility Cards (NCMCs), and UPI for purchasing tickets from a TVM, according to officials.
The priority section will also serve as a means to transport patients, as each train includes one general coach equipped with the necessary space to accommodate a medical stretcher and a wheelchair.
Furthermore, officials have noted that certain lifts at the stations have been extended to provide additional space, allowing them to accommodate a stretcher when needed.
The safety features in these trains include CCTV cameras, an emergency door-opening mechanism, and a button to establish communication with a train operator.

Safety measures

To bolster safety measures, each RRTS station is outfitted with platform screen doors (PSDs). These PSDs are seamlessly integrated with RRTS train doors and the signaling system for enhanced safety and security.
The trains are equipped with a push-button facility on their doors, enabling passengers to board and disembark when the train comes to a stop at a station, according to officials.
This step has been implemented as an energy-saving measure, with officials noting that the push-button only becomes active once the train has come to a complete stop at a station.
Initially, the door operation in the coaches will be automated, and train attendants and ground staff will provide assistance to passengers until they become accustomed to the new system, according to officials.
A senior official has confirmed that the government of Uttar Pradesh has assigned the Uttar Pradesh Special Security Force (UPSSF) with the responsibility of ensuring the security of all the stations in the state.
With agency inputs

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