'Namo Bharat' RRTS trains to be ingaurated today, service from tomorrow

Trains halt at the Sahibabad RAPIDX station ahead of the inauguration of a priority section of the Delhi-Meerut Regional Rapid Transit System (RRTS), in Ghaziabad. The priority section of RRTS between Duhai and Sahibabad, covering 17 kms, is scheduled to be inaugurated on Oct. 20 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Photo: PTI

India's first semi-high-speed regional rail service, RapidX was recently named Namo Bharat and it will be inaugurated by PM Narendra Modi today. The under-construction Regional Rapid Transit System (RRTS) Corridor is a joint venture company of the Centre with the governments of Delhi, Haryana, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh. The Delhi-Ghaziabad-Meerut RRTS, a first-of-its-kind regional connectivity project, will cover 100 km in an hour and will be completed in 2025. Its Sahibabad and Duhai depot will open for passengers from October 21. 

The Indian Railways is already running semi-high-speed trains -- 'Vande Bharat' -- in different parts of the country. In a post on X, Union minister Hardeep Singh Puri said, "Indigenously manufactured with a designed speed potential of 180 kmph and operational speed potential of 160 kmph, the fully air-conditioned, safe and comfortable train will take less than an hour to cover 82 kms between Delhi and Modipuram in Meerut."

"Inauguration of the country's first Regional Rapid Train #NamoBharat between Sahibabad and Duhai Depot by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 20 October 2023, will mark the beginning of a new era of state-of-the-art ultra-modern urban commute in the country," the Union minister said on X. The priority section of the RRTS Corridor between Sahibabad and Duhai Depot has five stations -- Sahibabad, Ghaziabad, Guldhar, Duhai and Duhai Depot.  

The foundation stone for the Delhi-Ghaziabad-Meerut corridor was laid by Prime Minister Modi on March 8, 2019. In line with his vision to transform regional connectivity in the country through the construction of new world-class transport infrastructure, the RRTS project is being developed, the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) said in a statement on Wednesday. 

The RRTS is a new rail-based, semi-high-speed, high-frequency commuter transit system with a design speed of 180 kmph. It is a "transformational" regional development initiative, which is designed to provide high-speed trains for intercity commuting every 15 minutes, which can go up to a frequency of every five minutes according to requirement, the PMO had said.   

It had noted that a total of eight RRTS corridors have been identified for development in the National Capital Region, out of which three corridors have been prioritised to be implemented in Phase-I -- Delhi Ghaziabad Meerut, Delhi-Gurugram-SNB-Alwar and Delhi-Panipat.  The Delhi-Ghaziabad-Meerut corridor is being developed at a cost of more than Rs 30,000 crore and will connect Delhi to Meerut with a travel time of less than an hour through urban centres of Ghaziabad, Muradnagar and Modinagar, the PMO had said.  The RRTS is a state-of-the-art regional mobility solution and is comparable to the best in the world, it had said.  

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