New Delhi Railway Station revamp

The New Delhi railway station is getting a sleek new look. From new infrastructure to technological enhancements, the station is on track to reach world-class status by 2010.Other than completion of the mammoth Route Relay Interlocking System (RRI), that came after circuiting an area of about 3.5km using 700km of cables, the station plans to offer a lot more to its passengers by the year-end. A sprawling new building with enhanced passenger amenities, international graphic signs, disabled-friendly platforms, shopping arcade, food court and the list goes on.The completion of the first part of the renovation came at a cost of Rs 71 crore. Apart from the route relay interlocking system that costed Indian Railways Rs 27 crore, the maintenance facility of the station has also been upgraded by the addition of a track. A new track has also been added to remove the bottleneck from the Sadar Bazaar side.‘‘The completion of RRI has made sure that there was no conflicting movement on the tracks. Not just that, the RRI will also drastically reduce the chances of rail traffic congestion,’’ said a Northern railway spokesperson.The entire RRI system is controlled from power cabin where the operators have a layout in front of them indicating the occupied and unoccupied tracks. With RRI capable of handling 1,278 routes, the station has also entered the Guiness Book of World Records. According to a railway official, the transformation of New Delhi Railway Station is not just because of the Commonwealth Games but also to handle 8-12% growth in passenger traffic in last 2-3 years. Northern Railways chief spokesperson, Rajiv Saxena said, “With the increase in passenger rush, its not just the rail traffic that has to be smoothened but facilities for passengers comfort are also to be added. To meet this demand, railways is carrying out the required changes.’’ The station has also added four platforms (two of which are to be completed shortly), which will ease out the problem of trains getting held up because of the unavailability of platforms. Saxena added, ‘‘Going by the fact that the during the peak seasons the station handles more than 4 lakh passengers, the additional platforms will also offer greater passenger space.” The new 80,000-square foot station building at the Ajmeri gate entrance will only make things better. According to a railway official, it will be a state-of-the-art building. Expected to be ready by December-end, it will have a touch-screen enquiry system, plasma TV but also an AC ticketing area. The building will also house both AC and non-AC waiting rooms and dormitories.

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