DB IO launches India’s first regional rapid transit system
DB International Operations (DB IO), part of DB E.C.O. Group, has launched operations on India’s pioneering rapid transit system. The 17-kilometer priority section in the National Capital Region was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Once fully operational, the Regional Rapid Transit System (RRTS) will connect Delhi, Ghaziabad and Meerut, covering 82 kilometers with 25 stations.
DB E.C.O. Group
Torgauer Strasse 12-15
In a significant milestone for India’s transportation sector, the first section of the Regional Rapid Transit System (RRTS) was officially inaugurated in Delhi National Capital Region on October 20, 2023. The Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, flagged off the inaugural train, marking the beginning of operations on the 17-kilometer priority section between Sahibabad in Ghaziabad City and Duhai. The contract for rail operations and maintenance of this groundbreaking project was won by DB IO, part of DB E.C.O. Group.
Cutting-edge transit system to revolutionize urban rail transport
The RRTS, overseen by the National Capital Region Transport Corporation (NCRTC), is set to cover 82 kilometers, connecting Delhi, Ghaziabad and Meerut, a densely populated region with more than 46 million residents. Once fully commissioned in 2025, it will feature 25 stations and two depots, catering to the needs of approximately 800,000 passengers daily – comparable to the capacity of Hamburg’s S-Bahn rail system. Branded as RAPIDX, this state-of-the-art transit system aims to provide fast, reliable and efficient transportation.
With trains traveling at a speed of 160 km/h, the RRTS will be the fastest regional rail system in India. Reducing the travel time between Delhi and Meerut by approximately 70%, the project primarily targets commuters traveling between these two major cities. A fast, convenient and affordable mode of transportation like the RRTS has the potential to transform urban rail transport in the region, especially as India’s capital Delhi is expected to become one of the world’s most populous metropolitan areas by 2030.
Successful preparation of a pioneering project
DB IO was awarded a 12-year contract for rail operations and maintenance in July 2022 and has been diligently preparing for the launch. The subsidiary DB RRTS Operations India Private Limited was established as the operating company for the project and has successfully recruited more than 350 employees of which 25% are female. Train drivers, station managers and operations controllers, maintenance and other operational staff at all levels of the organization have been trained to take over and operate trains, stations, depots and other operational facilities, ensuring a seamless transition.
Niko Warbanoff, CEO of DB E.C.O. Group, expressed pride in the team’s accomplishment, stating, “We are working here in one of the largest urban areas in the world. India has an enormous task ahead of it in promoting sustainable urban development. We are therefore proud of our team of experts, who have made it possible to get the first part of the new rail system successfully up and running so quickly. This is a great opportunity to create an Indo-German partnership for green urban mobility. There is also a lot we can learn about the state-of-the-art technologies in this project ahead of their imminent introduction in Germany.”
Technology transfer promises benefits for German rail system
The RRTS is equipped with cutting-edge technology, including the ETCS (European Train Control System) Level 2/Hybrid Level 3 train control system and automatic train operation. This technology, which utilizes LTE (Long-Term Evolution) communication, will also be deployed in Germany in the future. The project promises to bring significant benefits to the German rail system through the transfer of technology and knowledge, solidifying the Indo-German partnership in the field of green urban mobility.
DB IO, well-known for operating and maintaining rail transport systems, is responsible for DB’s international operator projects outside Europe. With their expertise, the successful launch of India’s first regional rapid transit system marks a major step forward in revolutionizing urban transportation and promoting sustainable development in the country. As the RRTS expands, it promises to reshape the way people travel, providing efficient, eco-friendly and reliable transit options for millions of passengers in India’s National Capital Region.