Well, I had saved the best experience for the last one during my Delhi Trip. The Delhi Metro is simply awesome as it gets you from Point A to B in just no time.
The first time I travelled by Metro was in Singapore when I went there with my family in November 1999. Yeah, so long ago!
|Singapore Metro in 1999 with Vignesh
|Vini at Karol Bagh Metro Station on our way up to the platform
|That's me on the other side. Don't miss the cleanliness
I got a chance to travel by the Blue Line that runs through Karol Bagh Metro Station. Rajiv Chowk Metro Station is an important junction where the Blue Line and the Yellow Line intersect. I went to this station a number of times to travel further elsewhere.
The Yellow Line and Violet Line intersect at Central Secretariat. I went there to take the Violet Line to Kalkaji Mandir Metro Station to reach Baha’i Temple.
|The map of Delhi Metro at Akshardham Metro Station
The Delhi Metro is too convenient and it’s a pleasure to travel within the air-conditioned coaches. They felt so warm after the cold wave outside. There are long seats along the walls inside with standing space in the middle.
|The coaches were extremely cosy
There is also an electronic map in every compartment showing the direction in which the train is travelling, which stations are already crossed and which will be the next port of call.
|The electronic map inside the compartment
The best part is the fares are so reasonable. You travel for about 20-25 stations paying about Rs. 20. I am not sure about the ticketing for kids. But the system is built in such a way that people need to buy a ticket – a token or coin, actually – to travel by metro. You reach the ticket counter, buy the token, scan it against a machine to enter the platform and feed the token into a machine when you get out at your destination. The automated gateway opens only when your token is fed within.
|Sign on platform floor indicating the position of women's compartment
|The queue for security check and across is the way into the platform at Karol Bagh Metro Station
There are a number of facilities available at the metro stations. Food and beverage stalls are there while clean toilets are found in every station. Lifts, escalators and staircases galore are found at the metro stations. You will find slogans everywhere encouraging people to use the stairs to keep fit. This was meant for me, I am sure. I climbed 8-10 floors of staircases everyday that I was in Delhi. That’s mainly because I am not very enthusiastic about climbing an escalator and the lifts are usually at one end of the station and it became too much going in search of them. Of course, directions were given everywhere.
In fact, at stations where the different lines intersect, directions are given in a beautiful way. You can see stickers of yellow feet walking in one direction and blue feet in the opposite direction. You follow the stickers and land up at the correct platform.
Metro is a great way to travel for physically challenged people too. The lifts are large enough to take in wheelchairs while the trains themselves are on the same level as the platforms. This makes getting in a breeze. The compartments are large enough to hold a wheelchair.
|Seating inside the coach
I saw another sight that truly impressed me at Central Secretariat Metro Station. That is the starting point for the Violet Line. The Yellow Line also intersects here. The platform is marked where the doors to the compartments should be. People stand here in long queues. Watching them are security personnel. Believe it or not, there is one security guard for every doorway. They ensure that people do not break queues and also make sure that those getting out are given first opportunity. This is simply amazing.
|Another day at Karol Bagh Metro Station
Another fascinating thing I noticed about the metro is that there are times the train is travelling way above the city and there are times when they travel underground. But not once did I feel the train going up or down a slope. Amazing!
But the brakes are not that great. The trains jerk 2-3 times before they reach or leave a station. Don’t know why!
I can’t wait for Mumbai Metro to launch!
Website: DELHI METRO