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Delhi gets a high-speed link to airport

Neha Alawadhi

- Photo: V. V. Krishnan

On fast track: An Airport Express cruising ahead over the Dhaula Kuan flyover in the Capital.

NEW DELHI: A new, fast link has been established between Delhi airport and the Capital's city centre.

The much-awaited opening of the Delhi Metro Airport Express Line turned out to be a low-key affair with the first train being flagged off from New Delhi station in the presence of Delhi Metro Rail Corporation Managing Director E. Sreedharan and Reliance Infra Director Lalit Jalan.

The corridor, which will be operated by the Reliance Infrastructure-led consortium Delhi Airport Metro Express Private Limited (DAMEPL), connects Indira Gandhi International Airport Terminal 3 and Dwarka Sector-21with Connaught Place.

Trains will initially run at a speed of 105 km per hour on the high-speed link, going up eventually to 120 km per hour. The first run of the Airport Express took 18 minutes to cover the distance between New Delhi railway station and IGI Airport.

Operating at a frequency of 20 minutes, the line will operate from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. initially, with operational stations at New Delhi, Shivaji Stadium, IGI Airport and Dwarka Sector-21. Two other stations—Dhaula Kuan and Delhi Aero City—will open later. To attract more commuters, DAMEPL has introduced a lower initial fare of Rs.80, which will eventually go up to Rs.150.

Passengers can check flight status at all stations on the Airport Express line, but the check-in facility at selected stations will take some more time to begin.

The Airport Express Line's New Delhi station is directly connected to the New Delhi metro station, with adequate signage.

The Airport Express trains, which have been imported from CAF Spain, are completely different from the regular metro coaches with LCD screen in every coach and ample space for luggage.

Adequate signage has been put up at the IGI Airport station to direct passengers to the arrival/departure areas. A shuttle bus service is also available to ferry passengers from the Airport's Terminal 3 to the domestic Terminal.

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