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Delhi Metro's Airport Express to open on Feb 23

February 22, 2011 18:20 IST
Delhi Metro's Airport Express, the country's first corridor to come up on Public-Private- Partnership mode, will roll out for public on Wednesday, turning Delhiites' dream of a hassle-free ride to the Indira Gandhi International Airport into a reality.

The Central Industrial Security Force, which will guard the line, completed the deployment of its 400 personnel today on the 23-km corridor and conducted anti-sabotage and other mandatory operations so that the services can start tomorrow.

As the commercial operations begin from 2 p.m. without much fan fare, commuters will be able to get information about train timings, its frequency and other details through a dedicated helpline set up by the Delhi Airport Metro Express Private Limited, the Reliance Infra-led consortium that will operate the line.

The customer care number -- 30802080 -- will be functional everyday from 6 AM to 10 PM, the operational hours of the 23-km high-speed link that promises a roller-coaster ride to commuters from Connaught Place in the heart of the city to the new swanky Terminal-3 of the IGI airport.

Senior citizens and physically-challenged people can use the customer care number to book wheel chair and other facilities to ensure that they have a comfortable ride.

There will be no formal inauguration ceremony tomorrow though the DAMEPL wants a formal inauguration which is expected to take place sometime in March.

The first Airport Metro Express train will start its journey from the New Delhi station at 2 PM and is expected to reach the IGI Airport in 20 minutes with a stoppage at Shivaji Stadium station.

The high-speed link on which trains will initially run at a speed of 105 km per hour will open nearly five months after it missed its original deadline of 2010 Commonwealth Games.

The line will begin operations with four operational stations New Delhi, Shivaji Stadium, IGI Airport and Dwarka Sec-21. Other two stations Dhaula Kuan and Delhi Aero City are expected to be ready by the time the formal inauguration takes place, sources said.

However, passengers will not be able to check-in their baggage at the stations as talks with Air India and other private airlines are still on.

Sources said the facility will be available by the time the formal inauguration takes place possibly in March. Though the corridor will have a 16-hour run initially it may be increased to 20 hours later.

With this, Delhi will join the league of few world cities like London, Hong Kong, Seoul and Kuala Lumpur, which have a high-speed link connecting the city with the International Airport.

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