INDIA: Test running on the first section of Delhi metro Phase III began at 11.27 on December 30 when the first Line 6 train to run between Mandi House and Central Secretariat was officially flagged off by Delhi Metro Rail Corp executives.

The 2·5 km section, with one intermediate station at Janpath, is expected to open for passenger service in March, six months ahead of the original schedule. It forms part of the northern extension of the line from Central Secretariat to Kashmere Gate. Construction started in December 2011, and has been completed in 24 months, which according to DMRC's Anuj Dayal is the fastest achieved for a tunnelled section of the metro network to date.

Intended to relieve the overcrowded central section of Line 2, the extension will take Line 6 services to a new interchange with Line 3 at Mandi House. This should relieve both the existing connection between Line 6 and Line 2 at Central Secretariat and the Line 2 - Line 3 connection at Rajiv Chowk, which is the busiest station on the network. Delhi Metro Rail Corp expects that 70 000 extra passengers per day will be using Mandi House by 2016.

The Central Secretariat – Mandi House link is the first project to be completed under DMTC’s Phase III expansion programme. This is due to see 140 km of new line and 90 stations inaugurated by the end of 2016, almost doubling the 190 km network delivered in the first two phases. Four lines are being extended and two new orbital routes built. Lines 7 and 8 will be the first driverless metro lines in the Indian capital.

  • A detailed report on Delhi metro Phase III was published in the December 2013 issue of Metro Report International, which is available to subscribers in our digital archive.