New Delhi’s airport rail link began services this week, linking Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGI) to the rest of the city, after numerous delays.
The Delhi Airport Metro Express runs every 12 minutes and gets passengers to the airport within 18 to 20 minutes, a drastic improvement from the typical two-hour car journey from the city to IGI.
The 23km line has a total of six stops: trains start at New Delhi Railway Station (NDLS) and proceed through Shivaji Terminus, Dhaula Kaun and Delhi Aerocity before reaching IGI Airport Terminal 3. From the airport, the train goes on to its final stop – Dwarka Sector-21 station. Currently, only four of those six are operating – Dhaula Kaun and Aerocity stations are still being developed.
The entire journey costs 80 rupees (US$2). Eventually, city check-in counters will be available at NDLS, Shivaji Terminus and Dhaula Kaun stations.
Initially, the service was to be available in time for the Commonwealth Games last October. However, the project faced too many technical set backs, and ended up rolling off five months late. The problems have been blamed on the disagreements between the private company managing the project – Reliance Infrastructure – and Delhi Metro Rail, which is responsible for the rest of Delhi’s metro system.