Prime Minister Narendra Modi is slated to inaugurate the RAPIDX, India’s first regional rapid rail service, on the priority section later this month.
Currently, 10 regional rapid transit systems (RRTS) trains, for which all necessary clearances have been obtained, are stationed at Duhai Depot and are ready for operation.
While the Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri had inspected the service, the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath is slated to have a test ride on it.
According to officials who are aware of the plan, the service over the 17-km-long priority section is likely to be commissioned for public ‘very shortly, as early as the second fortnight of October.’
This portion has five stations—Sahibabad, Ghaziabad, Guldhar, Duhai and Duhai Depot. Work at all these stations were completed in June this year.
“In another six months from now, 25 km more will be added to the RAPIDX network. Stations at Muradnagar, Modinagar North, Modinagar South, and Meerut South will be ready for operations,” according to the NCRTC.
This means border-to-border connectivity will be achieved between Delhi and Meerut using the RAPIDX service.
These sections are part of the Delhi-Meerut RRTS project. The first phase of the operation of RAPIDX train services covers the distance between Sahibabad and Duhai, while the second is between Duhai to Meerut South station.
The National Capital Region Transport Corporation (NCRTC) is overseeing the development of the rapid rail service. Trains on the RRTS are expected to run at an operational speed of 160 kmph.
This will be the first railway system in the country that is being opened for operation across its entire length at such high speed.
Last month, NCRTC said that a crucial construction of the RRTS viaduct over a section of Delhi Metro’s Blue Line was completed.
Construction on the rapid rail service began in June 2019. Commissioning of the full 82.15 km corridor, along with Metro services in Meerut, is scheduled for June 2025.
According to internal estimates, daily ridership is pegged at up to 800,000 passengers. But despite this high footfall, revenue from the passenger segment is expected to remain constrained.
To address this concern, NCRTC is exploring avenues to shore up more alternate revenue streams such as advertising. Moving small goods cargo, also called parcel, over the network is among the avenues being explored.
This corridor is being built at an estimated cost of Rs 30,274 crore, shored up through multilateral support. It is being co-financed by Asian Development Bank, Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank and New Development Bank.
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