Delhi Metro rolls out first train lease

The Indian capital’s state-owned operator is requesting expressions of interest from the private sector for a new fleet of trains.

Delhi Metro Rail Corporation has invited expressions of interest for contractors to deliver 25 six-car trains in three years, followed by a 35-year maintenance service to meet the growing traffic demands in the region. 

The state-owned metro operator told Infrastructure Investor that it intends to introduce new rolling stock on a long-term procurement-cum-maintenance lease basis. Delhi Metro did not disclose the estimated value of the proposed rolling stock lease, but said the lessor shall be paid based on the hourly availability of the trains and the lease charges are proposed to be paid through Delhi Metro’s internal accruals.

The newly procured trains will be deployed on Line-5, known as Green Line, as it extends its network to Bahadurgarh from Mundka. The expansion is now under construction and expected to become operational by the end of this year.

This would be the first rolling-stock lease opportunity provided by Delhi Metro, as it has only purchased trains before – a process that is time consuming and requires substantial investment, it said. 

Delhi Metro now runs a metro network of more than 218km with a rolling-stock fleet of 235 trainsets, serving Delhi and several satellite cities in the National Capital Region. Upon completion of its third-phase development, the fleet will increase to 336 trains. 

Delhi Metro estimated that it would need 102 additional trains, or 916 cars, to mitigate overcrowding issues in the first two phases of its metro development. 

The metro operator has ambitious plans to expand its network to approximately 450km over the next seven years. To address the needs of the existing networks and the next phases of new lines, Delhi Metro may procure around 1,500 cars, it said.