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On-board the Airport Express Line!

 
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AirIndia0001
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2011 9:17 pm    Post subject: On-board the Airport Express Line! Reply with quote

Did a round trip on Delhi Metro's Airport Express Line today! Smile
Not your conventional trip report this.. just thought about penning them down some observations –

Hardware:

Great to see some standard passenger friendly features being introduced on the Delhi Metro - Comfortable seating, Sufficient Rack space for carrying passenger luggage, Live Route Map, Good Cabin Lighting considering the route is mostly underground. Glass-barricading on platforms as this is a high speed line.

The stations (I only transited through the end-points: Dwarka Sec.21 and New Delhi Railway Station) and platforms are clean and well maintained. The steel and glass structures called stations do their basic job yet give cold vibes and lack the class or warmth that is exuded by T3. Maybe with more footfalls this feeling will die down. Though I did not transit through the IGI Airport station, I have heard and read reports that it has incorporated some elements which extend from T3.

Human Touch:

CISF and Private Security were all over the place and with a handful of passengers you currently feel like you are entering a war-zone!
I did not spot any DAMEL staff, either on the platforms or in the train during its Dwarka-NDLS run.. but the situation was the exact opposite on the return leg. DAMEL folks were extremely courteous and despite a near-empty train, asked passengers to deposit their baggage in the luggage hold area so that fellow passengers are not inconvenienced.

The stoppages at stations en-route is a good 2-3 minutes giving enough time for Heavy-luggage travellers, an Indian speciality!

The speed was good and at 105kmph it felt similar to riding a long-distance express train during the elevated parts of the journey. Gliding over the ridge with all the greenery around was very soothing to one’s tired eyes.

Operations are “Automated” yet the presence of Human element in the driver cabin as an override

So Near and Yet so Far:

Though, today was just day #2, the floor of the coach in which I travelled did not feel very spic and span. It carried patches of dirt and grime, probably with all the waiting and baking in the hot sun.
The driver on the first leg seemed new to his post... especially since his ‘start’ at Dwarka Sect.21 was anything but smooth and anyone standing without support would have bumped hard into his fellow passenger. Also, the poor chap missed the door alignment at the New Delhi Station because of which the doors could not retract for a good 2-3 minutes!

The incomplete stations en-route – Aero City and Dhaula Kuan are major eyesores!
Besides, the access to the line from the New Delhi Railway Station is currently problematic - Absence of proper signage (I did not spot any directions/dedicated passage way). It meant, I had to find my own way to reach the Airport Line Metro station, which is located across the main road outside the Railway Station premises. Also, on the inbound, the exits of the Airport Line and the Regular Metro line merge prior to the final exit outside the Railway Station and hence it becomes very crowded and slow moving.

Eternal Hope:

Despite all the glitches, the overall experience was impressive and hopefully, things will be streamlined before the rush kicks in!

Lack of any written rules and DAMEL’s insistence and enforcement of the “Due to Security Concerns NO PHOTOGRAPHY ALLOWED” thingy coupled with a hyper-active CISF which asked me to delete them was not a good sign... Hopefully, I will recover and post them soon!


Cheers!
AI1
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Nimish
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2011 10:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for posting - seems like a good start and hopefully get better with time!
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sumantra
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2011 10:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

@AI1, thanks for sharing this information. I will try this line from New Delhi Railway Station to T3 for my DEL-BOM trip tomorrow!
The no-photography instruction is a dampener...
Cheers, Sumantra.
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himmat01
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 11:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I took a ride on the Airport Express from T3 to Shivaji Stadium station. It took around 13 minutes and the ticket cost was just Rs. 60.00 compared to around Rs. 350.00 I would have spent on a Meru/Mega Cab.
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AirIndia0001
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2011 7:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here come the pics.. Smile

Dwarka Sec.21 station.. Nicely done!


First Look..


Cabin view.. showing the luggage storage area and Live Route Map


Seats..


Station Info Display System and Luggage racks..


zipping past at 105kmph.. notice the smudges on the window to the left.. maybe the result of all the sun bathing! Razz


Gliding over the traffic! Very Happy


Close-up of the Live Route Map! Cool


Exteriors of the incomplete Dhaula Kuan Station.. Eye-sore! Mad


The Ridge!!! Very Happy


post arrival at the NDLS station! Smile


From the Plane to the Train.. passengers proceeding to the NDLS Train station


FIDS


Merging Traffic ahead! .. exits of the city and airport lines converge before final exit to the NDLS station.


Cheers!
AI1


Last edited by AirIndia0001 on Sat Apr 09, 2011 10:04 pm; edited 1 time in total
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airindia787
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2011 7:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Seems like DEL took a leaf from the Airport Express at HKG. The stations, trains, route maps all look very similar from when I passed through HKG in 2005.
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airbus340
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2011 10:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

airindia787 wrote:
Seems like DEL took a leaf from the Airport Express at HKG. The stations, trains, route maps all look very similar from when I passed through HKG in 2005.


I went onto the Airport Express today for a Joy ride and have to say its FANTASTIC !!!!!!!

As they say DER AYE DURUST AYE !!!!!

It is an experience that train ride . Must say there weren't a lot of people on board but am sure with time the service will get more popular !!!!!
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yash777
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2011 11:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That looks fantastic! I love the Delhi metro!

Btw, did you get a fisheye lens Sankalp?
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AirIndia0001
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2011 12:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yash.. I used the 18-55 Smile
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yash777
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2011 12:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The third photo looked very fisheyed to me Wink
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ryder1650
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2011 2:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

yash777 wrote:
The third photo looked very fisheyed to me Wink


I think the Metro trains are actually shaped like that. With the curved top and railings.
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Jaysit
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2011 2:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Seems like Delhi moved into the 21st century leaving cities like Mumbai and Kolkata behind in the 19th and 15th centuries respectively.
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yash777
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2011 3:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ryder1650 wrote:
yash777 wrote:
The third photo looked very fisheyed to me Wink


I think the Metro trains are actually shaped like that. With the curved top and railings.


Yes. I realized that later. Smile
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sri_bom
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2011 11:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

airindia787 wrote:
Seems like DEL took a leaf from the Airport Express at HKG. The stations, trains, route maps all look very similar from when I passed through HKG in 2005.


Thats correct I had travelled to HKG last year and it looks exactly the same.

Does any one know which company has built the coaches for the AEL? Is it completely imported?

The one in Hong Kong is built by Bombardier

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AirIndia0001
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2011 12:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Delhi's AEL coaches have been built by the Spanish major CAF
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sri_bom
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2011 1:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

AirIndia0001 wrote:
Delhi's AEL coaches have been built by the Spanish major CAF


Thanks for that information.
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G-BYGB
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2011 5:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do they have Metro connections from T3 to Gurgeon south city 2?
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himmat01
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2011 5:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

G-BYGB wrote:
Do they have Metro connections from T3 to Gurgeon south city 2?


Not yet.
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avbuff
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2011 6:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice TR, thanks for sharing those pictures.
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G-BYGB
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2011 6:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

himmat01 wrote:
G-BYGB wrote:
Do they have Metro connections from T3 to Gurgeon south city 2?


Not yet.


Thank You.
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Spiderguy252
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2011 7:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice pictures and great report. Thanks for sharing.

Public patronage of this service is only bound to rise, so that spells good news.
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madnish30
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2011 10:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The station sa re different from those at HKG ( in HKG you don't have separate stations for AEL just separate platforms on the same station, of course except the airport station.

But, the coaches are identical because they have been made by the same Spanish firm - CAF Smile
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