India’s first engine-less semi-high speed train – “Train 18” – will eventually replace the Shatabdi Express for inter-city travel.
The 16-coach semi-high speed ‘trainset’ built at a cost of Rs 100 crore per rake with 80 per cent Indian component has been designed for a maximum operating speed of 160 kmph, officials said.
Potential to be country’s fastest train
This is the first long-distance train sans separate locomotive (engine). The fully air-conditioned train, driven by a self-propulsion module, has the potential to become the country’s fastest train provided the infrastructure was improved, according to Railway Board Chairman Ashwani Lohani.
Five more units of the train would be produced by the ICF by the end of 2019-20 production year.
The swanky 16-coach train will cut journey time by 15 per cent compared to the 30-year old Shatabdi.
Train-18 has two driving trailer coaches with aerodynamic driver’s cab (nose cone) on both the ends which will enable quicker turn-around time at destinations. Every alternative coach is motorized, to ensure even distribution of power and faster acceleration/deceleration.
Features of Train 18
Fitted with CCTV cameras, Train-18 would have two executive compartments in the middle with 52 seats each, whereas trailer coaches would have 78 seats each.
It has diffused lighting, automatic doors and footsteps besides GPS-based passenger information system.
The footsteps in the coaches of the doorways are designed in such a way that it would slide outward when the train stopped at a station enabling passengers to alight safely with comfort in view of the variation in height between a trains floor and the platform.
All the equipment are below the chassis of the coaches leaving the complete on board space for passenger movement. All the coaches are connected by fully sealed gangways with integrated bridge plates, where passenger can walk across freely.
What’s next for Railways
With Train 18 already set to go for trials, the railways will now turn its focus on another project – Train 20 – the next generation aluminium-bodied sleeper class trains that will replace the Rajdhani Express trains on the network and is expected to be rolled out by 2020.