New Delhi: The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) has decided to start cargo services on the Airport Express line on an experimental basis from next month onwards.
From the 1st of March onwards, cargo services for the transportation of non-perishable/e-commerce items will be facilitated through the Airport Express line. DMRC has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with a specialised cargo agency for the purpose.
The agency will utilise the Airport Express line for transporting cargo between the New Delhi and IGI Airport Metro stations on a trial basis for three months. Prohibited items as per statutory rules or as notified by DMRC from time to time shall not be allowed and the cargo will be transferred after the necessary security checks.
This would be the first ever occasion, when a Metro system in India would be used for the transportation of cargo. These trials would help in accessing the cargo volumes that could be potentially be generated on this route on both directions, especially e-commerce cargo. Based on the experience, a tender for a long term arrangement shall be floated.
This initiative will also reduce the consumption of fossil fuels, CO2 emission and improve the air quality as less number of cargo vehicles will ply on the roads as a result. It will also be possible to transport cargo faster to and from the airport since a journey by road to the airport would take much longer time.
The Airport Express line trains have dedicated coaches for luggage which is separate from the passenger coaches. Therefore, the introduction of the cargo services will not cause any inconvenience to the general commuters at all.
The Airport Express is India’s only dedicated high speed Metro connection between the city and the airport. It is suited for the transportation of cargo since there is a separate coach for luggage and the services are available all through the day from 5.15 in the morning till 11.30 pm late in the night.