Train 18, the country's first engine-less train which is being regarded as a successor to the 30-year-old Shatabdi Express, is all set to hit the tracks for trials on October 29. Driven by a self-propulsion module sans a separate locomotive, the train, capable of running at a speed of up to 160 kmph, comes with technical features for enhanced quick acceleration. It will most likely replace India’s fastest Shatabdi Express on the Delhi-Bhopal route. What makes this development more special is the fact that the final destination of the Delhi-Bhopal Shatabdi Express is Habibganj – the first Indian Railways station that is being developed as a world-class transit hub.
The Minister of Railways, Coal and Corporate Affairs, Piyush Goel, took to Twitter and shared a video that shows the interior and several other features of the train model. Take a look:
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The swanky 16-coach prototype without a locomotive (engine) is 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 informed that it cost nearly Rs 100 crore to build the prototype and subsequent production would bring down the cost.
"It will be unveiled on October 29, 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.
Key features of Train 18:
The self-propelled train, fitted with CCTV cameras, would have two executive compartments in the middle with 52 seats each, whereas trailer coaches would have 78 seats each. Train 18 has diffused lighting, automatic doors and footsteps beside GPS-based Passenger Information System.
Train 18 will have several passenger-friendly features such as European-style seats, personalized reading lights, mobile charging points next to every seat, diffused LED lighting, continuous windows for the better viewing experience, fully sealed gangways for easy movement, modular bio-vacuum toilets, automatic doors with sliding footsteps and a swanky mini pantry with upgraded equipment.
It has a potential to travel up to the speed at 160 kmph as against 130 kmph of Shatabdi and would result in the travel time being reduced by around 15 percent once the tracks are fit to suit Train 18's speed.
The footstep in a coach's doorway slides outward when the train stops at a station enabling passengers to alight safely with comfort in view of the variation in height between a train's floor and the platform.
Once Train 18 successfully passes its trials, it will hit the tracks from January 2019.