Train 18, the country’s first engine-less train, which is being regarded as a successor to the 30-year-old Shatabdi Express, is set to hit the tracks for trials on Monday, 29 October.
Driven by a self-propulsion module sans a separate locomotive, the train, capable of running at a speed of up to 160 kilometre per hour, comes with technical features for enhanced quick acceleration.
The swanky 16 coach prototype without a locomotive (engine) will cut travel time by 15 percent as compared to the Shatabdi.
Developed by the city-based Integral Coach Factory in 18 months, the full AC train is designed in such a way that passengers can have a look at the driver’s cabin.
ICF General Manager Sudhanshu Mani told, that it cost nearly Rs 100 crore to build the prototype and subsequent production would bring down the cost.
“It will be unveiled on 29 October, then it will do three to four days of trial outside the factory and then will be handed over to Research Design and Standards Organisation (RDSO) for further trials,” he said.
The Indian Railways was expected to roll-out the country’s first-ever indigenously built semi-high speed train ‘Train 18’ by the end of October, official sources had earlier told .
Built by the Integral Coach Factory (ICF) in Chennai, the train is manufactured under the ‘Make in India’ campaign and is reportedly capable of running at a speed of 160 km per hour.
While ‘Train 18’ was to be launched by the end of September, continuous innovations and upgrade’ in the train’s features delayed it, said an official, said.
Like the metro coaches, the semi-high speed train will also comprise “train sets” which means it will not have separate coaches. However, these will be able to run on normal tracks, unlike the metro trains.
Once operational, ‘Train 18’ will replace the existing train fleet of the Shatabdi Express, reported, citing Railway Ministry officials.
The ICF will also reportedly produce six such train sets, out of which two will have sleeper coaches.
WHY IT MATTERS?
‘Train 18’ will be self-propelled on electric traction like the metro trains and does not require an engine to run.
THE BIG PICTURE
The new train will have special features to enhance passenger comfort. These include:
* GPS-based passenger information system
* Disabled-friendly toilets
* Automatic doors with retractable footsteps
* Inter-connected fully sealed gangways
* Onboard Wi-Fi and infotainment
* Modular toilets with bio-vacuum systems
* Roller blinds and diffused LED lighting>