A dream come true for people -- faster ride to Airport

35-year-old Vikrant Kapoor started early this morning from Ludhiana to catch a flight in the evening from New Delhi as he was worried about getting stuck in the maddening traffic jam in the capital on his way to the airport.

Last Updated: Feb 23, 2011, 20:40 PM IST

New Delhi: 35-year-old Vikrant Kapoor
started early this morning from Ludhiana to catch a flight in
the evening from New Delhi as he was worried about getting
stuck in the maddening traffic jam in the capital on his way
to the airport.

But as he arrived in Delhi by a train at 12.30 PM,
Kapoor got the news that the Airport Express Line will begin
operations from 2 PM. He rushed straight to the New Delhi
Airport Metro Station to reach the IGI Airport early.
He is not the only one who was elated as the Airport
Express Metro began its operations this afternoon. People
stood at the platform of the New Delhi station for over 10
minutes to catch the train after getting a Rs 80 ticket and in
anticipation to reach IGI Airport in 20 minutes.

And they were not disappointed. They reached 2 minutes
before the promised time without any technical glitch. The
reason is the train will initially skip two stations in
between because of lack of completion of work.

There were not many commuters on the first six-coach
train that began its journey from New Delhi station at 2 PM
sharp, though the second train at 2.19 PM had several
commuters, media personnel and joy riders.

Kapoor said he was surprised and quite happy that he
does not have to worry anymore about getting stuck in the
traffic jams in Delhi.

A frequent flier to Chennai, where he has a business,
Kapoor said: "I am quite surprised and elated. I came to know
about the line only after I landed in Delhi. So, immediately I
took the train though my flight is only at 7.15."

Ankit Gupta had a different reason to catch the train.
The 28-year-old executive, who works with Novartis, said he
wanted to save money as well as experience a swift travel to
the Airport.

"Every time, I start three-four hours early to catch a
flight. Fortunately, my flight is at 5.15 PM today. If it was
in the morning, I would have missed this comfortable ride," he
said.

"Rs 80 is very cheap. So, from next time whenever I come
to Delhi, I will use the Airport Metro," he said as he shared
his excitement with his friend over phone.

By this time, the train reached the Dhaula Kuan station
in 10 minutes and passengers are glued to the LCD monitor
which displays information about the next station.

The excitement of reaching the Airport in time, which
was unimaginable sometime back, can be seen at the faces of
the people on the high-speed train.
As the train crossed the Delhi Aero City station and a
pre-recorded voice announced that the Airport Station had
come, people started checking their baggage and deboarded the
train with a smile.

There are frequent announcements about the approaching
stations and also people can have a fascinating view of the
city`s landscape when the train climbs up from Shivaji Stadium
and till it reaches the Aero City station.

As the train stopped at the Airport Station, there was a
sudden flurry of activities at the station as people got down
from the train and started proceeding towards the new swanky
terminal.

Prasad, an executive with a leading consultant company
who started three hours before his flight to get a ride on the
Metro, said he could not stop looking at the way the stations
were built.

"It just looks like an airport. I can`t believe that
we have such a world-class Metro in our country. The country
is growing like anything," he said as he approached the
departure area of the Terminal-3 from where he was to take a
flight to Bangalore.

"It is an unforgettable journey," he said.

Passengers can go to both arrival and departure area
of the airport without much problem as there are many lifts
and escalators.

One can use escalators or lift to reach right up to
the arrival or departure area of the airport. Passengers can
also check the status of their flight at all stations on the
line.

Another passenger, Raghuraman said he would use the line
only when he travels within the country and he would start
using the corridor for international travel once the check-in
facilities begin.

"I am frequent flier. So, it makes sense for me to use
the line for international travel once the check-in facility
starts," he said.

On way back from the Airport, many foreigners could be
seen using the line to come to the city`s shopping hub of
Connaught Place.

PTI