Trials of the indigenously built semi-high speed Train 18 will begin by the end of September, ahead of a planned induction into commercial operations to replace the existing fleet of Shatabdi Express trains.
The Delhi-Bhopal Shatabdi Express is the first one that will be replaced by Train 18. This could happen as early as January next year, once the trials are completed. The new, modern train is expected to cut down the journey time from the current eight hours to about five.
The new train set will be tested by the Research Design and Standards Organisation (RDSO).
No Locomotives Needed
Unlike a conventional train that is pulled by a locomotive, this is a “set” that will be self-propelled, like the metro trains, with the help of traction motors fitted underneath the coaches.
Trials of Train 18, being manufactured indigenously by the Integral Coach Factory (ICF), Chennai, are scheduled to begin in September. It will have a testing speed of 180 kmph but is likely to run at 160 kmph when inducted for commercial operation, making it what the Indian Railways calls a “semi-high speed train”.
- A 100% Make-in-India project
- Engineless, driver cabin at both ends
- Stainless steel body
- Test speed of 180 kmph
- Continuous windows for modern, aesthetic look
Modern Facilities On Train 18
The train, named after the year of manufacture (2018), will have automatic doors and retractable stairs. All the coaches will have Wi-Fi and infotainment facilities. It will be equipped with a GPS-based passenger information system; modular toilets with bio-vacuum systems; diffused LED lighting, and disabled-friendly facilities.
This train will use modern couplings between coaches to reduce vibration and noise, something that passengers travelling on fast trains have been complaining for many years now.
Indian Railways is planning six such train sets in the first phase; two of these will have sleeper coaches in addition to chair cars. The next phase, in 2020, will look at Train 20. These train sets will have an aluminum body.