Services on a priority section of India’s first Regional Rapid Transit System (RRTS) corridor began on Saturday and the ridership is expected to cross the 10,000-mark on day one, a senior official of the NCRTC said.
The much-anticipated commencement of commercial operations on the 17-km section of the Delhi-Ghaziabad-Meerut RRTS corridor began amid excitement among passengers.
The inaugural ‘Namo Bharat’ train journey kicked off at 6 am, and the services received an “overwhelming response” from commuters, some of whom had arrived as early as 4.30 am, eager to be a part of this historic journey, even from nearby areas like Muradnagar and from far-off areas in Delhi and Uttar Pradesh, a senior official of the NCRTC said.
Vinay Kumar Singh, Managing Director of National Capital Region Transport Corporation (NCRTC) also took a ride on the inaugural day of the ‘Namo Bharat’ train services.
He welcomed the first set of passengers of India’s first ‘Namo Bharat’ train in the morning, and also interacted with them at platforms and in coaches, officials said.
The first set of passengers have also been acknowledged as the ‘First Rider’ and a certificate been provided, they said.
‘Namo Bharat’ trains are equipped with hi-tech features and a number of passenger amenities.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday inaugurated this section of the Delhi-Ghaziabad-Meerut RRTS Corridor by unveiling a plaque at its Sahibabad station and also took a ride in a train.
Passenger services will go on till 11 pm, and October 21 being a weekend, the numbers are expected to swell further till the end of revenue services, the officials said.
It is expected that the ‘Namo Bharat’ train ridership can “easily cross the 10,000-mark on the very first day of the services, as per the last update,” the NCRTC said in a statement in the evening.
Since morning, passengers were excited and some of them even danced in the aisles inside coaches, expressing their sheer joy and excitement of being the riders of India’s first ‘Namo Bharat’ train. Families and friends also had gathered, clicked pictures, took selfies, and captured videos, all eager to be a part of this historic moment, the NCRTC officials said.
India’s first semi-high-speed regional rail service seeks to redefine travel in the region with swift speed and latest technology.
The RRTS is a new rail-based, semi-high-speed, high-frequency commuter transit system with a design speed of 180 kmph, and operational speed potential of 160 kmph.
The priority section, between Sahibabad and Duhai Depot, has five stations — Sahibabad, Ghaziabad, Guldhar, Duhai and Duhai Depot. The segment from Duhai to Duhai Depot is a spur from the main corridor.
Travellers from all walks of life including women, senior citizens, and children were among the first set of passengers, the NCRTC said.
“More crowd was seen at Sahibabad and Duhai Depot stations, and besides those who came just to experience the ride, many office-goers were also among the passengers on day one. A family came with many of their members, old and young, all the way from Kailash Colony in Delhi to take a ride from Sahibabad station,” a senior official of the NCRTC said.
The NCRTC has been tasked to oversee the construction of India’s first RRTS, between Delhi and Meerut.
The entire 82.15 km Delhi-Ghaziabad-Meerut RRTS is targeted to be operational by June 2025.
Every ‘Namo Bharat’ train has six coaches, including a premium coach. One coach in every train is reserved for women and it is the coach next to the premium coach.
Also, there are reserved seats for women, specially-abled, and senior citizens in other coaches.
Premium coaches have a seat with a different colour code, a provision for installing a vending machine in future, besides a host of additional commuter-centric features like reclining seats, coat hooks, magazine holders and footrests.
Entry to premium-class coach is through a gated premium lounge at platforms. Every lounge has cushioned seats and a vending machine facility.
People can commute between Sahibabad and Duhai Depot stations on this line in about 12 minutes, officials said.
A one-way journey from Sahibabad to Duhai Depot station on the priority section of this RRTS corridor will cost Rs 50, while the fare for the same route will be Rs 100 in a premium-class coach.
To provide last-mile connectivity to passengers, the NCRTC has ensured availability of electric auto-rickshaws under RRTS feeder services, by roping in service providers stations, the statement.
The DTC has also started an AC electric bus service from Anand Vihar to Sahibabad station with a frequency of 20 minutes. According to the schedule, the first AC electric bus will depart from Anand Vihar ISBT at 6.20 am, while the last one do so at 9.35 pm. From Sahibabad it will be available from 7.05 am to 10.20 pm, it added.
More than 2,000 downloads of the RRTS Connect App took place on day one of passenger operations on the priority section of India’s first RRTS corridor, the NCRTC said.
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