Train 18 testing begins! Exclusive video of Indian Railways engine-less train as it starts trials

Train 18 testing begins! Indian Railways first semi-high speed engine-less train for long distance travel has begun tests at the Integral Coach Factory (ICF), Chennai. Codenamed Train 18, for the year it is being manufactured in, this metro-like train set is a technological leap for Indian Railways since an engine-less train set will replace Shatabdi Express trains on the network. Capable of travelling at speeds of 160 kmph, Train 18 is expected to replace India’s fastest Shatabdi Express train on the Delhi-Bhopal route from January 2019.

Tests for the ‘Make in India’ Train 18 have begun at ICF and Financial Express Online is bringing you an exclusive video of the first trial (Watch below). ICF has started testing the first basic self-propulsion unit. “We are testing the self-propulsion system by joining 4 coaches in one go – that makes one basic unit. On the basis of the tests on this unit, the other units of four coaches each will be modified in the next few days. Once we are satisfied with the performance, the train set will be joined completely,” an ICF official told Financial Express Online.

Train 18 has generated a lot of interest even before its launch as it will be Indian Railways first world-class train set, manufactured at what ICF claims is almost half the cost of an import. Train 18 will be an all air-conditioned chair car train with 16 coaches consisting of executive and non-executive class. Unlike conventional Indian Railways trains that are pulled by locomotives, Train 18 will derive its power from its under-slung self-propulsion units. Like metro trains, Train 18 will have driving cabins at each end of the train, eliminating the need for reversal and reducing the turnaround time of the train. The advanced self-propulsion system will also allow for quicker acceleration and deceleration of Train 18, hence also bringing down the total travel time. The state-of-the-art bogie will also ensure jerk-free rides for passengers.

On the passenger convenience front, Train 18 will boast of several features such as automatic doors with sliding footsteps, fully sealed gangways for easy movement, continuous windows, diffused LED lighting, modular bio-vacuum toilets, personalised reading lights, comfortable world-class seats and mini pantry with better equipment.

Train 18 is expected to roll out from ICF sometime in October, after which it will be tested extensively for speed and other factors by RDSO.