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India
15 Feb 2018

Railway Minister's plan to take '50% cars' off Delhi's roads

Soon, links between Delhi's ring rail and metro

Railway Minister Piyush Goyal has a plan to take send "50% cars off the roads" in Delhi: revive the long-neglected ring rail and link it with Delhi Metro services.

The 35km network passes through several metro stations, but there's no facility to change modes easily.

The ministry is also considering creating a bypass for trains that have to go through the capital. Here's more.

In context

Soon, links between Delhi's ring rail and metro
The ring rail was opened in 1975 for goods movement

About

The ring rail was opened in 1975 for goods movement

The ring rail runs parallel to Delhi's Ring Road, connecting many prominent places like Chanakyapuri, Sarojini Nagar and Safdarjung.

It was launched in 1975 for goods trains, and started being used for passenger movement during the 1982 Asian Games.

Currently, four express and five passenger trains run on it daily, but ridership is a mere 30% of the total capacity.

Project

Plans are to integrate ring rail with Delhi Metro

The Railways has now commissioned a study to examine the feasibility of linking it to the 230km Metro to build a comprehensive suburban network.

Once that happens, passengers will be able to interchange between the two modes for smoother and easier travel.

"The study will suggest whether we need to build new lines or linkages," said an official.

There's no information on estimated costs.

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City tours on steam locomotives in the works

Steam engines

City tours on steam locomotives in the works

Authorities are also planning to use the ring rail for city tours on vintage steam locomotives, which are being revived throughout the country.

The journey would start from Safdarjung and pass Anand Vihar, Old Yamuna Bridge, Old Delhi, New Delhi and Nizamuddin before returning to Safdarjung.

The landscape along the route will be beautified. Passengers will be treated to a sumptuous meal on board.

Other proposals under consideration to improve Delhi's rail network

Besides, the Railways is mulling a bypass for trains, especially freight carriers, that need to pass the capital without halting. This would free up the tracks for passengers. MPs have also suggested AC coaches in the suburban network to draw riders.

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