Train 18, the country’s first engine-less, self-propelled train for inter-city travel will hit the tracks on October 29. The newly designed ‘Train 18’ is being regarded as a successor to the 30-year-old Shatabdi Express currently the country’s fastest train.
The Train 18, manufactured by Integral Coach Factory, Chennai, under the ‘Make in India’ initiative is capable of running at a speed of up to 160 kmph and comes with technical features for enhanced quick acceleration. Developed by the Integral Coach Factory in 18 months, the fully air-conditioned train is designed in such a way that passengers can have a better travelling experience compared to any other trains in the country.
The 16-coach prototype has all air-conditioned chair car with an aerodynamic driver cabin at each end eliminates the need for a locomotive (engine). This feature will cut travel time by 15 per cent compared to the Shatabdi.
ICF General Manager Sudhanshu Mani speaking to the media said that it nearly costs Rs.100 crore to build the prototype compared to the importing cost of Rs.150 crore. He further added that subsequent production of Train 18 indigenously in the country will bring down the cost.
“It will be unveiled on October 29, then it will do three to four days of trial outside the factory and then it will be handed over to Research Design and Standards Organisation (RDSO) for further trials,” he said.
Source: Times of India
Train 18 has two executive chair cars carrying 52 passengers and 14 non-executive chair cars each carrying 78 seats. The increased seating capacity implies that the 16-coach Train 18 will be able to take over 1100 passengers at a time. It will replace India’s fastest Shatabdi Express train in Delhi-Bhopal route from January 2019.
In a first for Indian Railways, Train 18 has centrally operated automatic doors with sliding footsteps. The train includes aircraft-like diffused LED lighting, personalised reading lights for each seat, cushioned luggage racks with a glass bottom. It is attached with GPS-based information screens at each end of the coach and mobile charging points next to each seat. Toilet occupancy indicators, mini pantry with heating and cooling equipment and modular bio-vacuum toilets for efficient flushing are the additional features of the Train 18.
Soon after the current NDA government took reigns at the centre, the Indian infrastructure sector, especially Indian Railways has been undergoing a massive modernisation and extension programme.
Noting the strategic and economic importance of the North-East, the Indian Railways has decided to connect all the capitals in the North-east and is investing Rs.40000 crores in the region.
The success of the Indian Railways is not limited to the North-Eastern region, it has been successful in connecting areas hitherto untouched areas due to security reasons. The Railways has developed railway infrastructure in Maoist affected areas of the Dantewada region of Chattisgarh.
Recently, the Indian Railways had adopted ‘green’ initiatives when they introduced the first of its kind non-AC coaches which come fitted with solar panels, which will be used to operate lights, fans and mobile charging points. The Indian Railways has also decided has decided to upgrade its rolling stock infrastructure in the next two years by developing 640 ‘Utkrisht rakes at a cost of Rs 400 crore.