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RapidX train to ply with passengers from October 21, to have women's coach

Ghaziabad: India's first Regional Rapid Transit System (RRTS), which was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday, has several unique features in terms of passenger ease and is focused on multi-nodal connectivity.
PM Modi inaugurated the priority section of the Delhi-Ghaziabad-Meerut RRTS Corridor at Sahibabad RapidX Station in Uttar Pradesh and flagged off the RapidX train connecting Sahibabad to Duhai Depot, marking the launch of the Regional Rapid Transit System (RRTS) in the country.
Regional Rail, christened RAPIDX, will have an operational speed of 160 km per hour and several features including a women's coach and a premium coach. RAPIDX will also have train attendant.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Union Minister of Housing & Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri were among the leaders present on the occasion.
PM Narendra Modi travelled by Regional Rapid Train 'Namo Bharat' with co-passengers who shared their experiences, including on how this train service will have a positive impact.
The 17 km priority section of the Delhi-Ghaziabad-Meerut RRTS Corridor connects Sahibabad to the 'Duhai Depot'. The foundation stone for the Delhi-Ghaziabad-Meerut corridor was laid by the Prime Minister in March 2019.
The passenger operations in the inaugurated section will begin on October 21. This section has five stations, Sahibabad, Ghaziabad, Guldhar, Duhai and Duhai Depot. RAPIDX has a design speed of 180 km per hour and an operational speed of 160 km per hour, officials said, adding that the first corridor will be 82 km long connecting Delhi with Meerut.
RRTS is a rail-based high-speed, high-frequency, regional commute transit system that will connect big cities, towns and urban nodes across the National Capital Region (NCR). It aims to empower citizens through improved access, addressing issues of economic and social exclusion and promoting balanced and sustainable economic development of NCR, the officials said.
A RapidX train will have six coaches with the capacity to carry about 1700 commuters. It includes both seating and standing space for the commuters.
RapidX will have a dedicated women's coach on every train. To ensure safe and comfortable regional travel for women, the second coach while moving from Delhi to Meerut will be reserved for the women. This reserved coach will have a seating capacity of 72 passengers. An additional 10 seats are also reserved for women in other coaches of the train.
To encourage commuters travelling by personal vehicles to switch to RRTS without sacrificing comfort, the provision of a premium coach is provided in every RAPIDX train. The spacious and comfortable premium coach is equipped with cushioned reclining seats with charging points for mobile and laptops provided at every seat to facilitate uninterrupted work and entertainment for commuters.
Entry to the Premium Coach will be accessible through a Premium Lounge made at the Platform level. Equipped with comfortable cushioned seats, it will have the facility of a vending machine from where snacks or drinks can be bought.
It is pertinent to note that the implementation of the RRTS is an integral part of a larger strategy to address issues of congestion and pollution in the region. It is part of the 'Comprehensive Action Plan' (CAP) for Air Pollution Control in Delhi & NCR' and the recommendation of 'High Powered Committee on Decongesting Traffic in Delhi'.
Driven by electric traction, RRTS is the greenest mode of transport in the National Capital Region. Once operational, the Delhi-Ghaziabad-Meerut RRTS will take more than one lakh private vehicles off of the road and is estimated to reduce 2,50,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide in vehicular emissions per year.
Multi-modal integration is the core principle of RRTS implementation. To encourage the use of public transport, RRTS stations are being seamlessly integrated with the existing modes of public transport like bus stands, airports, metro stations, railway stations etc. wherever possible. Lifts, escalators, Foot Over Bridges (FOBs) and even travellators are being provided to move from one mode to another.
Officials said the National Capital Region Transport Corporation (NCRTC) has always given preference to commuter ease over engineering comfort. "For the smooth and uninterrupted travel of commuters, RRTS stations are strategically located very close to the existing modes of public transport wherever possible. This was done despite many complexities and challenges in the construction of these stations," an official said.
NCRTC is also working for strategically providing interoperability between all three priority corridors of Phase 1, Delhi-Ghaziabad-Meerut, Delhi-SNB-Alwar and Delhi-Panipat converging at Sarai Kale Khan RRTS Station. There is no need to change the train while moving from one corridor to another. Interoperability allows the train coming from one line/direction to go to other lines/directions.
The officials said that this unprecedented focus on multi-modal integration of public transport modes will create a vast network of networks that will provide better ridership and long-term sustainability, required for such highly capital-intensive projects.
This is also in line with the PM Gati Shakti-National Master Plan enabling a convenient and seamless journey for commuters in the National Capital Region.
The officials said that to make interoperability possible, NCRTC has adopted the most advanced signalling and train control systems, the European Train Control System (ETCS) Level 2 over the LTE backbone. This signalling technology is being used for the first time not only in India but in the world.
Commuter-centricity is the tenet of the implementation of RRTS. To encourage people to travel in public modes of transport, NCRTC has paid attention to every aspect and the entire system is planned and designed keeping the needs of the commuters a focal point.
In every RapidX train, a Train Attendant will also be deputed who will play an important role in acquainting the commuters with the facilities available on the train and ensuring their safe and secure commute, officials said.
Officials said RapidX trains have ergonomically designed 2x2 transverse seating, wide standing space, luggage racks, CCTV cameras, laptop/mobile charging facility, dynamic route maps, auto control ambient lighting system, Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning System (HVAC) and other amenities.
To provide universal access and facilitate smooth travel in the RAPIDX trains, a designated space for wheelchairs and stretchers has been provided in the last coach of the train.
Officials said that in a unique step to decongest the area around stations and to avoid traffic jams outside the station, entry/exit of the station is on the sides and not on the main carriageway and a dedicated passage has been made on both sides of the road.
Entry to this dedicated passageway for entry/exit is also given from the service lane with a wall as a physical barrier within the station length, between the main carriageway and service lane to discourage the stopping of vehicles on the main carriageway. It intends to avoid any kind of obstruction to the fast-moving traffic on the main roads or highways," an official said.
NCRTC is providing various ticketing options to commuters, namely, QR code-based paper tickets, digital QR tickets RapidX Travel Card National Common Mobility Cards (NCMC) or Open Loop contactless cards. The system will be fully Open Loop from the first day of operations, making it possible and convenient for commuters to use any NCMC card to travel on the RRTS corridor.

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