Delhi Airport Metro Express

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Orange Line Airport Express
DelhiMetro AirportExpress 20111214.jpg
OwnerDelhi Metro
LocaleNew Delhi India
TerminiNew Delhi station
Dwarka Sector 21
TypeAirport Express Train
SystemRapid Transit
Operator(s)Delhi Airport Metro Express Pvt. Ltd.
Rolling stockCAF
Daily ridership82,000 (Jan 2019)[2]
Opened23 Feb 2011
Closed7 Jul 2012 (re-opened: 22 Jan 2013)
Line length22.7 km (14.1 mi)[1]
Number of tracks12
CharacterAt-grade, Underground, and Elevated
Track gauge1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in) standard gauge
Electrification25 kV, 50 Hz AC through overhead catenary
Operating speed132 km/h top speed.
Route map

New Delhi
Shivaji Stadium
Ring Railway
Dhaula Kuan
Delhi Aerocity
Delhi Airport
Indira Gandhi International Airport
Dwarka Sector 21
under construction
Dwarka Sector 25 ECC Centre
under construction

The Orange Line or Delhi Airport Express Line is a Delhi Metro line from New Delhi Metro Station to Dwarka Sector 21, linking Indira Gandhi International Airport. The line was opened on 23 February 2011[3] after missing four previously set deadlines.[4] It was built at a cost of 57 billion,[5] of which Reliance Infra paid 28.85 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 to 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 19 minutes from New Delhi to the Airport's terminal 2, T2 and terminal 3, 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 the journey time from the airport to New Delhi Station to over 40 minutes.[11] On 27 June 2013 Reliance Infrastructure Ltd. announced to DMRC that they are unable to operate the line beyond 30 June 2013.[12] 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.[13] DMRC reinstated the 80 km/hr speeds on the line in mid-2014. In January 2015, DMRC reported that the Airport Metro has recorded about 30 per cent rise in its ridership following the fare reduction of up to 40% in last July.[14]


The first tenders for line construction were awarded in September 2007.[15] On 23 Jan 2008, the DMRC awarded a 30-year build-operate-transfer PPP contract to the Reliance Energy-CAF consortium.[16] However, DMRC paid for half of the construction cost and executed tunneling and civil works.[16]

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.[17][18]

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.[19] The DMRC fined Reliance Infra 37.5 lakh every day from 30 September, and 75 lakh every day from 31 October for repeatedly missing the deadlines.[20] 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,[21] 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.[22] 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.[23] 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.[24]

Delhi Airport Metro Express

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 4:45 am to 11:30 pm,[25] 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.[26] In recent years due to several initiative and fare reduction by the DMRC ridership crosses 50,000 per day.[2]


The fare for commuting has been fixed at 50 (70¢ US) for travel from New Delhi station to IGI Airport and 50 (70¢ US)[27] for commuting from New Delhi to Dwarka Sector 21.[8] There are also passes available for 30 and 45 trips costing 1,300 (US$18) and 1,600 (US$22) respectively for travelling from New Delhi to IGI Airport. This keeps the per trip cost at 43.33 (61¢ US) and 35.55 (50¢ 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 10% discount on all the trips. Current airport express fares are cheaper than any other modes of transport to reach airport.[28]


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
Delhi Airport Metro Express - Entrance

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.[29]

Orange Line Stations
# Station Name Opening Interchange


Station Layout Depot Connection Depot Layout
English Hindi
1 New Delhi नई दिल्ली 23 February 2011  Yellow Line  Underground None None
2 Shivaji Stadium शिवाजी स्टेडियम 23 February 2011 None Underground None None
3 Dhaula Kuan धौला कुआँ 15 August 2011  Pink Line  Elevated None None
4 Delhi Aerocity दिल्ली एरोसिटी 15 August 2011 IGI Airport Underground None None
5 Airport विमानपत्तन 23 February 2011 IGI Airport Underground None None
6 Dwarka Sector 21 द्वारका सेक्टर २१ 23 February 2011  Blue Line  Underground Dwarka Sector 21 Depot At Grade
7 ECC Centre - Dwarka Sector 25 एसीसी सेंटर-द्वारका सेक्टर २५ December 2021  Metro Lite 

(Phase 4 | Under Construction)

Underground None None

As of now there are no plans to extend the Orange line as the city of Gurgaon is already well connected to Delhi via the Yellow Line. The city is also served by Rapid Metro that caters to the needs of Gurgaon and is in turn connected to Delhi Metro too. The line would be extended till Dwarka Sector 25, where a convention centre would be coming up in a few years.


Siemens Mobility is providing signalling, power transmission, and baggage handling system enabling passengers to check in with baggage at the New Delhi Railway Station and Shivaji Stadium, with 1200 passengers per hour capacity.[30][31] 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 and 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.[32] In April 2020, DMRC published a notice for procuring a SCADA System at the line's Operational Control Centre (OCC)[33]

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.[32]

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 uses very similar 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).[34] 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.[34]

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 and cloak room facility[edit]

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

Passengers flying with Air India and Vistara which use T3 terminal as base of operations can check in at the New Delhi Metro Station. The check-in 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 from 22 February 2012.

Cloak room facilities are available as well, with rates beginning at Rs 50 for the first 4 hours for luggage weighing less than 20 kilograms, to Rs 350 for 24 hours for luggage weighing more than 30 kilograms.[35]

Smartphone as ticket[edit]

Delhi Metro Rail Corporation has introduced QR code-based ticketing facility for travel on Airport Express Line from September 2018.[36] The system will enable passengers to purchase tickets using 'Ridlr mobile App' without physically coming to the metro station. Airport Line stations even have QR-enabled entry and exit gates for commuters.

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 India Limited.[37]

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 Delhi Airport Metro Express line 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]


  1. ^ a b "Delhi Metro's airport route to get international look with sleek blue parapet". NetIndian. 14 February 2010. Retrieved 2 March 2014.
  2. ^ a b "Metro's airport express line ridership crosses 50,000". 13 August 2016. Retrieved 30 September 2016.
  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 1 November 2010.
  5. ^ a b c Delhi Airport Express rail link opens. Railway Gazette (24 February 2011). Retrieved 2011-10-24.
  6. ^ a b c "Delhi Airport line contracts finalised" (PDF).
  7. ^ "Rel Infra raises funds for Delhi Airport Express railway line". The Financial Express. 25 March 2009. Retrieved 25 June 2010.
  8. ^ a b c "Airport line handed over to Reliance Infra". The Indian Express. 20 May 2010. Retrieved 5 June 2010.
  9. ^ "Delhi Metro's airport route to get international look with sleek blue parapet". netindian. 14 February 2010. Retrieved 25 June 2010.
  10. ^ a b c "Delhi Metro using special extra-long girders for airport stretch". Thai Indian. Archived from the original on 3 January 2018. Retrieved 11 May 2009.
  11. ^ a b Delhi Airport Metro Express back on track Archived 15 May 2013 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 2013-08-20.
  12. ^ "How Delhi airport metro line became viable".
  13. ^ "Delhi Metro takes over operations of Airport Express Line". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 1 July 2013. Retrieved 5 July 2013.
  14. ^ "Airport Metro sees 30% rise in ridership after fare reduction". Business Standard. 1 January 2015. Retrieved 19 January 2015.
  15. ^ HCC-led JV bags Rs 774.64 cr Delhi Metro order. The Economic Times. (24 September 2007). Retrieved 2011-10-24.
  16. ^ a b "Delhi awards airport PPP" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 7 April 2010. Retrieved 22 June 2010.
  17. ^ "Delhi Metro to reach highest point in Dhaula Kuan". The Times of India. 8 June 2009. Retrieved 25 June 2010.
  18. ^ "The passenger operation on the Airport Express line starts on the 23rd of February, 2011". Retrieved 24 October 2011.
  19. ^ Airport line clears fire hurdle, now for safety nod. The Indian Express. (30 November 2010). Retrieved 2011-10-24.
  20. ^ Airport line clears fire hurdle, now for safety nod - Indian Express
  21. ^ Business Line : Industry & Economy / Logistics : Delhi Airport Metro Express to resume services in two months: Govt
  22. ^ Down To Earth: High-speed derailment
  23. ^ "Airport Metro: New problems found, will take 5 months to fix". 17 July 2012.
  24. ^ Banerjee, Rumu (17 July 2012). "Airport Metro Express line flaws worse than thought". The Times of India.
  25. ^ Schedule wef Feb 2012 Archived 20 June 2012 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 2012-06-17.
  26. ^ "Delhi Metro Airport Express Line, New Delhi Railway Station to IGI Airport Metro". Archived from the original on 1 December 2011. Retrieved 9 December 2011.
  27. ^ "Delhi Airport Metro fares hiked".
  28. ^ Reliance Metro. Retrieved 2011-10-24.
  29. ^ Subhendu Ray (17 August 2010). "Easy ride for disabled in Metro". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 17 August 2010.
  30. ^ "Airport line on track for Sept opening". The Indian Express. 17 May 2010. Retrieved 5 June 2010.
  31. ^ "Siemens to equip new metro link to New Delhi airport". Transport weekly. 15 May 2009.
  32. ^ a b "Metro train to Delhi airport soon, tests to start". The Times of India. 27 April 2010. Retrieved 25 June 2010.
  33. ^ "DMRC Contract – CE-36" (PDF). Delhi Metro Rail Corporation.
  34. ^ a b "New technology for faster travel at the Metro Airport Express Link". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 25 August 2009.
  35. ^ "DMRC : Airport Express Line". Retrieved 10 October 2018.
  36. ^ "Delhi: From Saturday, use your phone as ticket on Airport Line".
  37. ^ Reliance Metro Airport Express, WiFi-enabled, EVS Chakravarthy, CEO YOU Broadband

External links[edit]