In a remarkable beginning, the Namo Bharat trains, operating on India’s inaugural rapid rail corridor, have attracted nearly 48,000 riders within their first week of passenger services. However, with an average daily ridership of 6,800, there’s plenty of room for growth. These trains currently run within Ghaziabad, covering a 17km stretch between Sahibabad and Duhai, which is part of the larger Delhi-Meerut line. The entire corridor is anticipated to open in 2025, and it’s expected that ridership will surge when that happens.
The Namo Bharat trains saw a strong start with 10,211 commuters on the opening day, and the peak ridership during the week reached 10,223 on a Sunday, which was the second day of commercial operations. The statistics also reveal that standard coaches have an average occupancy rate of 75%, while premium coaches maintain a 25% occupancy rate.
An interesting development is the popularity of the RapidX (Namo Bharat) Connect app, with over 5,000 commuters already downloading it in the first week. This app provides diverse ticketing options and is gaining traction among passengers.
On weekends, such as the first two days of operations, ridership soared past 10,000 due to the festive season, attracting enthusiastic commuters. However, on weekdays from October 23 to 27, the ridership was consistent with expectations. Officials from the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) predict that as last-mile connectivity options improve and more stations become operational, ridership will continue to grow.
Each Namo Bharat trainset consists of six coaches with a total capacity of nearly 1,700 passengers, including seating and standing spaces. The standard coaches offer 72 seats, while premium coaches have 62 seats. Currently, standard coaches are more in demand within the 17km operational section due to the relatively short distance and fare ranging from Rs 20 to Rs 50. The premium coaches offer fares between Rs 40 and Rs 100.
Operating from 6 am to 11 pm, the trains provide 68 one-way trips daily between Sahibabad and Duhai, with a service frequency of every 15 minutes. In total, there are 11 trainsets running along this route.
The future looks promising for the Namo Bharat rapid rail system, with the expanding popularity of the RapidX Connect app and anticipated ridership growth as more of the corridor opens in 2025. The positive feedback from passengers, like young student Som Sangwan, suggests that Namo Bharat trains are on track to become an integral part of the Indian transportation landscape.