India's first engine-less train gets on track for trial run
New Delhi Oct 23: Indian railways indigenously-built and much-awaited semi-high speed 'Train 18', which looks like a bullet train, will be released for trial in a weeks time.
The Train 18, which is built by Integral Coach Factory (ICF), Chennai, would promote Make in India, and is capable of running at a speed of 160 km per hour. Train 18 series will replace existing fleet of the Shatabdi Express trains. This first of its kind train for Indian Railways is all set to roll out by October 29.
But is Train 18 better than Shatabdi Express?
Why does Indian Railways need to manufacture a self-propelled engine-less train to replace its premium chair car service? That's because Train 18, over its lifecycle, will be a less costlier and more effective way of travelling! It's also a greener way of travelling with no requirement of locomotives for hauling.
To replace Shatabdi
According to the ICF official quoted above, with Train 18 the travel time will come down by at least 15% compared to Shatabdi. The train has better acceleration than conventional trains as it has 50% more power and is equipped with a smart braking system consisting of regenerative and electro-pneumatic braking imported from Hungary.
Swanky interiors, Wi-Fi and much more
With its swanky interiors and exteriors, fibre glass reinforced plastic nose cone, it resembles European semi-high speed trains. The indigenously built train, with a seating capacity of 1128 passengers in 16 coaches/chair cars, comes with super-comfortable seating, automatic doors, vacuum toilets, space for wheel chairs and disabled friendly restrooms.
It has diffused lighting automatic doors and footsteps Wi-Fi, besides GPS-based Passenger Information System.
Train 20 in the offing
Upon successful implementation of Train 18, the IFC will start working on 'Train 20' which will have an all aluminum body. Aluminum will make the train more aesthetic, lightweight, energy efficient.
Image credit: @KARailway