INDIA’s National Capital Region Transport Corporation (NCRTC), the joint venture implementing the Regional Rapid Transit System (RRTS) in the National Capital Region (NCR), has told IRJ that the first priority section of the 82km Delhi - Ghaziabad - Meerut corridor is due to open this month, ahead of the full corridor opening by June 2025.

The first 17km section has five stations between Sahibabad and Duhai depot in Ghaziabad. NCRTC says construction is underway on the 25km section between Muradnagar and Meerut South, with four stations, which is also due to open in the next six months.

The next phase includes connecting Delhi with the urban centres along the corridor with the commissioning of the Delhi and Meerut sections, which for the first time in India will also carry Meerut Metro services.

The Delhi - Ghaziabad - Meerut corridor is one of three priority corridors under construction, alongside the Delhi - Gurugram - Shahjahanpur-Neemrana-Behror (SNB) - Alwar, and Delhi - Panipat corridors, which will converge at Sarai Kale Khan station in New Delhi, all with a design speed of 180km/h. NCRTC says it will enable interoperability between the three corridors by installing hybrid ETCS Level 3 signalling. This combines the latest ETCS standards, platform screen doors, and Automatic Train Operation (ATO) over LTE radio, which NCRTC says is the first of its kind in the world.

RRTS will alleviate traffic congestion within the capital city, while also enabling development in multiple urban centres across the region, which NCRTC says will stimulate economic activity and generate employment opportunities in the NCR.

NCRTC is also improving multimodal integration by connecting RRTS stations with railway stations, inter-state bus terminals (ISBTs), bus stations, airports and metro stations.

NCRTC last year selected German Rail (DB) subsidiary DB RRTS India for a 12-year operations and maintenance contract for the Delhi - Ghaziabad - Meerut corridor, which includes the track, signalling and electrical & mechanical (E&M) systems. The contract excludes maintenance of the rolling stock fleet, automated fare collection (AFC) equipment and structures.

NCRTC says the contract has been awarded on a gross cost basis, which will provide it with visibility of long-term operations and maintenance costs, enabling it to improve the financial sustainability of the system.

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