Delhi Metro working towards smooth rides

January 12, 2011 09:08 pm | Updated 09:08 pm IST - NEW DELHI:

The software glitches affecting the services of the Bombardier trains have been identified and are in the process of being ironed out. File Photo: Shiv Kumar Pushpakar

The software glitches affecting the services of the Bombardier trains have been identified and are in the process of being ironed out. File Photo: Shiv Kumar Pushpakar

By its own admission, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation says it is working doubly hard to ensure a glitch-free ride to commuters.

After a spate of technical errors and software glitches, the DMRC has identified a host of problem areas and rectified a majority of them. For the remaining, work is under way.

And to buttress its claims of being one of the better run metros across the world, the DMRC also cited the examples of glitches that have affected metro services in other countries. For example on January 8, the London Tube and Railways had a snag that affected their charging system, consequently, overcharging of over 60 million Euros was carried out. Also, the Shanghai Metro reported water seeping into metro stations on January 5.

“Metros all over the world have problems. In the past we have had some difficulties, but we have identified the problem areas and rectification work has been carried out in over 90 per cent of the cases,” said DMRC Director (Operations) Raj Kumar.

On the glitch that occurred on Monday morning, Mr. Kumar said: “The problem is being worked at and will be solved by Wednesday night. As of now the metro services between AIIMS and INA are running on caution speed. Normally, the journey between the two stations that are 900 metres apart takes two minutes, now it is taking three and a half minutes. We are, however, making up on the lost time by the time the train reaches HUDA City Centre.”

Referring to the glitches that marred the services in the recent past, Mr. Kumar said work on several fronts has been carried out already. “We faced problems on the overhead electrification system. Certain faults had been found in some neutral areas on the corridors related to OHE. To address this, an insulator has been replaced at New Ashok Nagar, which is a neutral area on the Dwarka-Noida corridor. Another such insulator will be replaced near the Guru Dronacharya station on Line 2 soon,” he added.

Mr. Kumar said the software glitches that were affecting the services of the Bombardier trains too have been identified and are in the process of being ironed out. “There was a software anomaly that was shutting down the power system of the trains repeatedly. The problem has been diagnosed and addressed now. Software issues usually take some time to settle down and we are hopeful that this problem will not recur.”

On the issue of a train coming to a halt at Patel Chowk recently, Mr. Kumar said: “There was an incident related to the applying of parking brakes in a train in the last week of December 2010. The drivers have now been given specific trouble shooting instructions. We have found a way out and the drivers have been briefed on how to bypass the situation.”

“Initially, the Bombardier trains were facing the problem of voltage fluctuation as in other countries voltage fluctuations are much less. As per international standards, the voltage fluctuation rate is half a cycle per second, but to comply with the Indian conditions, the fluctuation tolerance rate has been increased to 48.5 cycles per second. That is another issue that is being sorted out,” he said.

The DMRC official said a solution to the recurrent problem of trains losing their IDs has also been addressed. “That is one problem that we have not experienced for sometime now. This issue of loss of train IDs that was happening more frequently on Line 3 (Dwarka-Noida) was owing to a communication shutdown resulting in the loss of train IDs. A thorough monitoring of the problem was done for six to seven months and now the problem has been rectified.”

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