Being regarded as a successor to Shatabdi Express, Train 18, India's first engine-less train, will be on the tracks for trials on Monday, October 29.
India is launching its first engine-less on Monday, October 29. Train 18, regarded as a successor to the country's 30-year-old 'Semi-High Speed Train' Shatabdi Express is set to go on the tracks for trial.
Driven by a self-propulsion module without a separate locomotive, the train is capable of running at a speed of up to 160 kilometres per hour. It comes with technical features for enhanced quick acceleration, has 16 swanky coaches but no locomotive (engine). Train 18 is also estimated to reduce travel time by 15 percent compared to Shatabdi.
The full AC train is developed by Integral Coach Factory, Chennai in 18 months, and costs nearly Rs 100 crore. However, the subsequent production would bring down this cost. In a conversation with PTI, ICF General Manager Sudhanshu Mani told
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.
Train 18 will consist of two executive compartments in the middle with 52 seats each, and trailer coaches will have 78 seats. These trains will run on normal tracks of the Indian Railways, unlike the Metro trains, which demanded a separate railway track. Once operational, Train 18 will replace the existing train fleet of the Shatabdi Express said PTI.
The train will have a GPS-based passenger information system, disabled-friendly toilets, automatic doors with retractable footsteps, inter-connected fully sealed gangway, onboard wi-fi and infotainment, modular toilets with bio-vacuum systems, roller blinds and diffused LED lighting.
In a conversation with The Quint, GV Venkatesan, ICF Public Relations Officer said,
If the train had been made by a foreign company, the total cost would have come to around Rs 180 crores. With our own innovation and minimum external consultancy, the project is being completed at Rs 100 crores.
Launched in 1988, the Shatabdi Express presently runs over 20 routes connecting metros with other important cities.