Delhi Airport Metro Express

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     Airport Express Line
DelhiMetro AirportExpress 20111214.jpg
Type Airport Express Train
Termini New Delhi station
Dwarka Sector 21
Stations 6[1]
Daily ridership ~20,000[2]
Owner Reliance Infrastructure and CAF
Operator(s) Delhi Airport Metro Express Pvt. Ltd.
Character At-grade, underground, and elevated
Rolling stock CAF
Line length 22.7 km (14.1 mi)[1]
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge
Electrification 25 kV, 50 Hz AC through overhead catenary
Operating speed 132 km/h top speed.

The Delhi Airport Metro Express (DAME) is a Delhi Metro line from New Delhi Metro Station to Dwarka Sector 21, linking the Indira Gandhi International Airport. The line, also known as the Orange line was opened on 23 February 2011[3] after missing four previously set deadlines.[4] It was built at a cost of INR57 billion,[5] of which Reliance Infra paid INR28.85 billion (U$580m),[6] Reliance Infra will also pay fees on a Revenue-share model[5][7]

The total length of the line is 22.7 km,[8] of which 15.7 km is underground[9] and 7 km, from Buddha Jayanti Park and Mahipalpur, is elevated.[10] The trains travel at up to 135 km/h, instead of up to 80 km/h as on the rest of the metro. Travel time is 18 mins from New Delhi to the Airport T3.[5]

Service was suspended from 7 July 2012 to 22 January 2013 due to technical problems.[11] After reopening, the speed was cut to only 50 km/hr, extending journey time from the airport to New Delhi Station to over 40 minutes.[11] On 27 June 2013 Reliance Infrastructure Ltd. intimated DMRC that they are unable to operate the line beyond 30 June 2013. Following this DMRC took over operations of Airport Express line from 1 July 2013 with an Operations and Maintenance team of 100 officials to handle the line.[12] DMRC reinstated 80 km/hr speeds on the line in mid 2014. In Jan 2015, DMRC reported that Airport Metro has recorded about 30 per cent rise in its ridership following the fare reduction of up to 40 per cent in July last year [13]


The first tenders for line construction were awarded in September 2007.[14] On 23 Jan 2008, the DMRC awarded a 30-year build-operate-transfer PPP contract to the Reliance Energy-CAF consortium.[15] However, DMRC paid for half of the construction cost and executed tunneling and civil works.[15]

The elevated section of the Airport Express Line was built over eight busy roads which carry a heavy volume of traffic, including the Ring Road, National Highway 8, Ridge Road and Sardar Patel Marg.[16][17]

Originally scheduled to open by 31 August 2010, well in time for the 2010 Commonwealth Games, the line finally opened on 23 February 2011 at 2 pm[3] after missing four previously set deadlines.[18] The DMRC fined Reliance Infra INR3750,000 every day from 30 September, and INR7.5 million every day from 31 October for repeatedly missing the deadlines.[19] The Aerocity and Dhaula Kuan stations opened on 15 August 2011.

Services were suspended on 8 July 2012 due to a series of technical problems,[20] including cracks in the girders, the iron beams that support the tracks; dislocated bearings that support the train; defective tracks and water seepage in tunnels.[21] The Urban Development Ministry subsequently disclosed that several clips in the underground section have been seriously damaged and it will take at least 5 months to rectify the problem.[22] A joint inspection by Delhi Metro and Reliance Infrastructure team has revealed that 540 bearings need rectification and some girders which have cracked also need to be recast.[23]

The line reopened on 23 January 2013, operating at a reduced speed of 50 km/hr. The speed was gradually increased after inspections by the DMRC and other experts. At the reduced speed the time travel from New Delhi Metro Station to Airport was around 40–50 minutes. In the future it may be possible to reinstate original targeted speeds of 105 km/h if safe operation can be ensured.

At present the line supports a speed of 80 km/hr providing for a 19 minute journey from New Delhi station to the Airport station.


Airport Express Line (Delhi Metro)


While it was initially planned to run trains 24 hours a day with a frequency of 10 minutes, train services currently operate from 5:15 am to 11:30 pm,[24] with a 15-minute frequency.

While originally expected to carry 42,000 people daily by 2011 as per detailed project report prepared by DMRC, actual ridership has hovered around 20,000.[2][25]


The fare for commuting has been fixed at INR100 (US$1.60) for travel from New Delhi station to IGI Airport and INR180 (US$2.80)"Delhi Airport Metro fares hiked".  for commuting from New Delhi to Dwarka Sector 21.[8] There are also passes available for 10 and 60 trips costing INR600 (US$9.40) and INR2400 (US$38) respectively for travelling from Dwarka-21 to Shivaji Stadium Station (Connaught Place); or New Delhi station to IGI Airport. This keeps the per trip cost at INR60 (94¢ US) and INR40 (63¢ US) respectively and are valid for one calendar month. There are other such passes available for different origin destination combinations. Stored Value cards are also on offer which will give 5% discount on all the trips. Overall fare structure has been deeply discounted currently by the concessionaire, actual fare allowed for maximum fare is Rs. 180 from New Delhi to Dwarka-21 which had been kept at only Rs. 100. Current airport express fares are cheaper than any other modes of transport to reach airport.[26]


Delhi Airport Metro Express
Indian Railways
New Delhi  Yellow Line 
 Blue Line 
Shivaji Stadium
Ring Railway
Dhaula Kuan
Delhi-Gurgaon expressway
Delhi Aerocity
Delhi AirportIndira Gandhi International Airport
Dwarka Sector 21  Blue Line 
Palam ViharMainline rail interchange
Maruti Udyog
National Highway 8
IFFCO Chowk  Yellow Line 

All the six metro stations on the line are known as City Airport Terminals (CATs). They are fitted with state-of-the-art gadgets like explosive detectors, large x-ray baggage scanners, under vehicle scanners, quick reaction teams and dog squads to ensure full security of commuters and baggage alike. The stations have full-height platform screen doors to prevent untoward incidents and to provide better air conditioning. All the stations are secured with a network of CCTV cameras which relays live images to the station control room, security control room and operations control centre. The security of the airport line is handled by Central Industrial Security Force who also handles the safety of all the stations of DMRC.

Inside New Delhi Station

All the stations are disabled friendly so that people on wheelchairs can access them with facilities such as stations with ramps having a mild slope leading to elevators, the elevators are specially designed for the convenience of physically challenged people and capable of carrying stretchers, help call points are located at various points of stations and trains so that in case of any emergency, a disabled person can seek help by just pressing the call buttons. The elevators can be used by visually impaired persons with the elevator buttons having Braille letters.[27]

Orange Line
# Station Name Opening Connections Layout
1 New Delhi station 23 February 2011 Indian Railways-New Delhi Railway Station
and      Yellow Line
2 Shivaji Stadium 23 February 2011 None Underground
3 Dhaula Kuan 15 August 2011 None Elevated
4 Delhi Aerocity 15 August 2011 None Underground
5 Airport 23 February 2011 Airport Terminal 3 Underground
6 Dwarka Sector 21 23 February 2011      Blue Line Underground

Expansion plans[edit]

The line is to be extended beyond Dwarka Sector 21 to IFFCO Chowk in Gurgaon.[28] The 12 km[29] extension will have a 1.5-kilometre-long (0.93 mi) underground section, while the rest will be elevated.[28]

Commuters will be able to travel between Gurgaon and Shivaji Stadium in 30 minutes.[28] Gurgaon to the Airport would be 14 minutes.[30] The Orange Line will soon join the RapidMetroRail Gurgaon Line. Aerocity and Dhaula Kuan stations will be the future interchanging stations of this line. The Mukundpur-Shiv Vihar Line will pass through Dhaula Kuan station and there will be a direct link between this line and the Faridabad line, which is being proposed and expected to finish it by 2016. By 2016, Gurgaon, New Delhi and Faridabad will be the 3 major cities where they can commute to the airport easily and directly without facing any traffic jams.

The cost of the 12 km extension is Rs 18.30 billion.[29] HUDA will pay for 80% of the cost and New Delhi will pay the remaining 20%.[29]

The Final and the last hurdle was cleared for Extension line on 26 May 2014 when it got the approval from the Government of Haryana, according to Hindustan Times [31] The Proposed Line passes from Dwarka sector 21 to IFFCO Chowk via Maruti and NH-8. The line is expected to get operational in March 2016.

# Station Name Opening Connections Layout
English Hindi
7 Bijwasan (Delhi-Haryana border)[32] बिजवासन (दिल्ली-हरियाणा बार्डर) 2016[33] Bijwasan Modern Railway Station Underground
8 Palam Vihar - Sector 23[32][34] पालम विहार - सेक्टर 23 2016[33] Airport Express Branch Line OR Feeder service line Elevated
9 Maruti Udyog - Sector 18[32][34] मारुति उद्योग - सेक्टर 18 2016[33] Rapid MetroRail Gurgaon Elevated
10 National Highway 8[32][34] राष्ट्रीय राजमार्ग 8 2016[33] Delhi-gurgaon Expressway Elevated
11 IFFCO Chowk[32] इफको चौक 2016[33]      Yellow Line Elevated

This extension line will have one branched line or feeder service line to cater the need of Old Gurgaon. The line from Palam Vihar will interconnect with Airport Express line. And this line is proposed to be a simple standard gauge line passing through Gurgaon Railway station and Gurgaon Bus stand and terminate at Rajiv Chowk (Gurgaon).

Delhi airport Branched line or Feeder service line in gurgaon
# Station Name Opening Connections Layout
English Hindi
1 Palam Vihar - Sector 23[28] पालम विहार - सेक्टर 23 2016[33] airport express line(gurgaon) Elevated
2 Palam Vihar T-junction (near Krishna Chowk)[28][34] पालम विहार T- जंकशन (कृष्णा चौक के निकट) 2016[33] None Elevated
3 Ashok Vihar Phase 3[28][34] अशोक विहार फेज़ 3 2016[33] None underground
4 Gurgaon Railway Station[28] गुडगाँव रेलवे स्टेशन 2016[33] gurgaon railway station underground
5 Sector 5 Chowk[28] सेक्टर 5 चौक 2016[33] None underground
6 Sector 4-7 Chowk[28][34] सेक्टर 4-7 चौक 2016[33] None underground
7 Railway Road[28][34] रेलवे रोड 2016[33] None underground
8 Gurgaon Sector 12[28] गुडगाँव सेक्टर 12 2016[33] None underground
9 Gurgaon Palika Bazaar[28][34] गुडगाँव पालिका बाज़ार 2016[33] Rapid MetroRail Gurgaon underground
10 Nehru Stadium[28] नेहरू स्टेडियम 2016[33] None Underground
11 Pushpanjali Road[28] पुष्पांजलि रोड 2016[33] None Underground
12 Mini Central Secretariat (District Court)[28] मिनी केन्द्रीय सचिवालय (जिला न्‍यायालय) 2016[33] None Elevated
13 Rajiv Chowk (Sohna Road, Gurgaon)[28] राजीव चौक (सोहना रोड, गुडगाँव) 2016[33]      And Delhi-Alwar RRTS(Regional Rapid rail Transit system) Elevated

This branch line is beneficial for cater the need of old and new gurgaon.


Siemens Mobility is providing signalling, Power Transmission, baggage handling system enabling passengers to check in with baggage at the New Delhi Railway Station and Shivaji Stadium, with 1200 passenger per hour capacity.[35][36] The €34 million project was expected to be completed by 2010 in time for the Commonwealth games but it did not manage to meet the deadline. Alcatel is supplying the communications systems.[6] Indra Sistemas is providing the ticket machines. Faiveley is providing the platform screen doors. BLUESTAR / Honeywell is the control and automation provider for Station Management System (SMS). Bluestar is the main BEMS system provider.

The line will be the first line in the country to be mapped on Geographic Information System to enhance safety, maintenance and traffic regulation and will help in mobilising emergency services in case of an accident.[37]

Rolling stock[edit]

Eight six-car trains supplied by CAF Beasain were imported from Spain.[8] CAF holds 5% equity in the DAME project and Reliance Infrastructure holds the remaining 95%.[6] The trains on this line are of a premium standard and have in-built noise reduction features for a noise-free ride with padded fabric seats. The coaches are equipped with LCD screens for entertainment of the passengers and also provide flight information for convenience of air travellers. The trains are fitted with an event recorder which can withstand high levels of temperature and impact and the wheels have flange lubrication system for less noise and better riding comfort.[37]

Based on the consultancy by MTR, the interior design of the rolling stock is highly similar to that of Airport Express line in MTR Hong Kong which also uses CAF trains.


To ensure safety, the tracks are fitted with RHEDA-2000 signalling technology, which theoretically allows trains to travel at up to 350 km/h (nearly three times the actual maximum speed of current trains).[38] The entire 22.7 km route is ballast-less track, which costs 40–50% more than normal train tracks, but does not take longer to lay than traditional tracks. The rails rest on rubber pads on the concrete sleepers for less noise.[38]

The 7 km elevated section from Buddha Jayanti Park to Mahipalpur has been built with 25 m long girders for the first time in India.[10] The 504 girders weigh 120 tons each and were cast in Mahipalpur and transported on 35 m long trailers with 64 tyres.[10]

Check-in facility[edit]

The line has the first check in facility outside an airport in South Asia.

Passengers flying with Air India, Jet Airways and Kingfisher Airlines which use T3 terminal as base of operations can now check in at the New Delhi Metro Station. Check can be done anytime before 6 hours to 2 and half hours before departure time. Passengers flying for international flights also started checking in as this facility started from 22 February 2012.

WiFi service[edit]

The Airport Express line introduced WiFi services at all six stations along the route on 13 January 2012. It was the first line of the Delhi Metro to provide WiFi services. Connectivity inside metro trains travelling on the route is expected in the future. The WiFi service is provided by YOU Broadband & Cable India Limited.[39]

Post office[edit]

The post office will have all basic postal services like speed post, e-post, express parcel, registered post, postal stamps and revenue stamps on all working days from 10 am to 4 pm.

Both commuters and non-commuters can avail the benefit of this postal service as the counter is located at the non paid area of New Delhi metro station's concourse level.

Movie shooting and promotional venue[edit]

Ever since Shah Rukh Khan boarded the Reliance Metro Airport Express line in October this year to promote "Ra.One", the new line has become the cynosure of most Bollywood promotions in the capital. Actor Abhishek Bachchan, along with co-stars Sonam Kapoor and Neil Nitin Mukesh headed to the Airport line to promote his movie "Players" in Delhi, and also attempted to break a safe while travelling from one station of the Airport line to another.

  • Promotions
  1. SRK for 'Ra.One' - Airport Express
  2. SRK, Priyanka Chopra, Farhan Akhtar, Ritesh Sidhwani for 'Don 2' - Airport Express New Delhi Station
  3. Manoj Bajpayee, Tia Bajpai and Maqbool Khan for 'Lanka' - Airport Express line
  4. Emraan Hashmi for 'The Dirty Picture' - Rajiv Chowk metro station
  5. Star cast of 'Players' - Airport Express Line
  • Shootings
  1. 'Jannat 2' - Reliance Metro Shivaji Stadium Metro Station
  2. 'Kismat Love Paisa Dilli- Reliance Metro Shivaji Stadium Metro Station
  3. Tamil Film 'Thaandavam' - Reliance Metro Shivaji Stadium Metro Station

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Delhi Metro's airport route to get international look with sleek blue parapet". NetIndian. 14 February 2010. Retrieved 2014-03-02. 
  2. ^ a b SREEDHARAN 2 LAST, IBN Live News
  3. ^ a b "Airport to be 20 minutes from Connaught Place from Wednesday". The Hindu (Chennai, India). 21 February 2011. 
  4. ^ Lalchandani, Neha (26 October 2010). "Metro's IGI line delayed, will open by mid-Nov". The Times of India. Retrieved 2010-11-01. 
  5. ^ a b c Delhi Airport Express rail link opens. Railway Gazette (24 February 2011). Retrieved on 2011-10-24.
  6. ^ a b c "Delhi Airport line contracts finalised". 
  7. ^ "Rel Infra raises funds for Delhi Airport Express railway line". The Financial Express. 25 March 2009. Retrieved 2010-06-25. 
  8. ^ a b c "Airport line handed over to Reliance Infra". Indian Express. 20 May 2010. Retrieved 2010-06-05. 
  9. ^ "Delhi Metro's airport route to get international look with sleek blue parapet". netindian. 14 February 2010. Retrieved 2010-06-25. 
  10. ^ a b c "Delhi Metro using special extra-long girders for airport stretch". Thai Indian. 
  11. ^ a b Delhi Airport Metro Express back on track. Retrieved on 2013-08-20.
  12. ^ "Delhi Metro takes over operations of Airport Express Line". Chennai, India: 1 July 2013. Retrieved 3012-07-05.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  13. ^ [ttp:// "Airport Metro sees 30% rise in ridership after fare reduction"]. Business Standard. 1 Jan 2015. Retrieved 2015-01-19. h
  14. ^ HCC-led JV bags Rs 774.64 cr Delhi Metro order – Economic Times. (24 September 2007). Retrieved on 2011-10-24.
  15. ^ a b "Delhi awards airport PPP". 
  16. ^ "Delhi Metro to reach highest point in Dhaula Kuan". The Times Of India. 8 June 2009. Retrieved 2010-06-25. 
  17. ^ The passenger operation on the Airport Express line starts on the 23rd of February, 2011. Retrieved on 2011-10-24.
  18. ^ Airport line clears fire hurdle, now for safety nod. (30 November 2010). Retrieved on 2011-10-24.
  19. ^ Airport line clears fire hurdle, now for safety nod - Indian Express
  20. ^ Business Line : Industry & Economy / Logistics : Delhi Airport Metro Express to resume services in two months: Govt
  21. ^ Down To Earth: High-speed derailment
  22. ^ "Airport Metro: New problems found, will take 5 months to fix". 17 July 2012. 
  23. ^ Banerjee, Rumu (17 July 2012). "Airport Metro Express line flaws worse than thought". The Times Of India. 
  24. ^ Schedule wef Feb 2012. Retrieved on 2012-06-17.
  25. ^ Delhi Metro Airport Express Line, New Delhi Railway Station to IGI Airport Metro
  26. ^ Reliance Metro. Retrieved on 2011-10-24.
  27. ^ Subhendu Ray (17 August 2010). "Easy ride for disabled in Metro". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 2010-08-17. 
  28. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p IGI Metro to touch Gurgaon at IFFCO Chowk - Indian Express
  29. ^ a b c Delhi Metro plans fastest ride between Dwarka and Gurgaon : North, News - India Today
  30. ^ Delhi Airport line to serve Gurgaon - Railway Gazette
  31. ^
  32. ^ a b c d e IGI Metro to touch Gurgaon at IFFCO Chowk - Indian Express
  33. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r Work on Dwarka Expressway going on at top speed : North, News - India Today
  34. ^ a b c d e f g h Haryana wants more Metro stations - Hindustan Times
  35. ^ "Airport line on track for Sept opening". Indian Express. 17 May 2010. Retrieved 2010-06-05. 
  36. ^ "Siemens to equip new metro link to New Delhi airport". Transport weekly. 15 May 2009. 
  37. ^ a b "Metro train to Delhi airport soon, tests to start". The Times of India. 27 April 2010. Retrieved 2010-06-25. 
  38. ^ a b "New technology for faster travel at the Metro Airport Express Link". Chennai, India: The Hindu. 25 August 2009. 
  39. ^ Reliance Metro Airport Express, WiFi-enabled, EVS Chakravarthy, CEO YOU Broadband