Exclusive images! Train 18 nears completion – how Indian Railways’ first engine-less train is being made
Train 18, India’s first engine-less train for inter-city travel, has been in news ever since it was first announced last year. Being manufactured in a record time of 18-20 months, Train 18 is Indian Railways’ first world-class train – it has a cool swanky exterior and plush interiors that would offer an experience very different from the one passengers currently get in Shatabdi Express trains.
The semi-high speed ‘Make in India’ self-propelled Train 18 is the way forward for Indian Railways and the train set will likely replace India’s fastest Shatabdi Express between Delhi and Bhopal. Financial Express Online brings you some exclusive images of how Train 18, which will roll out in October, is being manufactured at Integral Coach Factory (ICF), Chennai.
Train 18 is a flagship train set, the first prototype, which will be modified for subsequent production based on the feedback from RDSO (Research Designs and Standards Organisation) which will test it extensively for three months. Train 18 will be able to achieve speeds of 160 kmph and will boast of an underslung propulsion system. Train 18 will have an aerodynamic (nose cone) driver’s cabin at both ends.
The self-propulsion system eliminates the need for a locomotive to haul the train, hence reducing the turnaround time of the train at terminal stations. Every alternative coach is motorized, to ensure even distribution of motive power and faster acceleration/deceleration – another factor that will save time during train travel. The traction motor will be part of the high-speed bogie. Train 18 is also equipped with an advanced state-of-the art suspension system aimed at ensuring a smooth and safe journey for the passengers.
The 16-coach Train 18 will be an all air-conditioned chair car with both Executive and non-executive coaches. In the Executive chair car coaches, passengers will be able to rotate the seats in the direction of the train movement.
Like most global trains, Train 18 will have continuous windows for better viewing experience. The train set will also have automatic doors with sliding footsteps which will open only once the train reaches the platform and is stationary. As the images suggest, Train 18 will sport a colour scheme of white and blue.
Other prominent features of the train include; diffused LED lighting, European-style seats, disabled-friendly wheelchair parking spaces, on-board Wifi infotainment, GPS-based passenger information system, modern pantry with better heating and chilling equipment, personalised reading lights, fully-sealed gangways for easy movement, automatic sliding doors inside the cabins, intelligent air-conditioning system, emergency talk back units for passengers, CCTVs, charging points beneath every seat, concealed roller blinds and modular luggage rack with glass bottom. PWD passengers will be able to enter the driving trailer coach using their wheel chairs. Train 18 will have modular, disabled-friendly toilets, that will have auto-sensor fittings.
According to ICF, Train 18 is being manufactured at an approximate cost of Rs 100 crore per rake and eventually once mass production starts the cost will come down further.