Railway Budget 2018: Just ahead of the Union Budget 2018, Indian Railways’ plans to create ‘world-class’ ‘Make in India’ self-propelled train sets has received a big boost with plans to roll out two new semi-high speed train sets firming up. Being manufactured at ICF Chennai, the two train sets, Train 18 and Train 20, will take Indian Railways’ trains to a league of world-class infrastructure. While these two self-propelled train sets were proposed some time back, it is only now that ICF has confirmed their roll-out timelines. As the name suggests, Train 18 will be ready in 2018 and Train 20 will be manufactured in 2020. A senior ICF official has confirmed to Financial Express Online that Train 18 will be ready by June this year. “Train 18 was always supposed to be manufactured this year, but we have now finalised on the designs and will soon start manufacturing it. We are eyeing a roll-out deadline of June 2018,” the official told FE Online. Incidentally, Financial Express Online was the first to exclusively report on the Train 20 initiative last year.
While both these EMU train sets will be able to ply at a maximum speed of 160 kmph, they are meant to cater to different journey needs. Train 18 will be a fully air-conditioned chair car-type train that will raise the standards of Shatabdi train travel, and Train 20 will be a sleeper-class type train for overnight travel and will look at replacing Rajdhani trains on key routes. Not only that, ICF hopes to manufacture both these type of train sets at half the cost of import. The idea to develop these modern train sets was an outcome of the “Rail Vikas Shivir” that was organised by Indian Railways in 2016.
Train 18 semi-high speed train features:
One rake of Train 18 will be ready by June this year and it will consist of 16 coaches. Train 18’s route has not been decided yet. “That is a call that the Railway Board will take,” the ICF official said.
1. On-board infotainment
2. WiFi on board
3. Automatic plug doors
4. Plush luxurious interiors with diffused lighting
5. Sleek modular toilets
6. Underslung 3-phase propulsion system
7. Stainless steel body
8. GPS-based passenger information system
9. Sealed gangways
10. Latest generation bogies for better riding comfort
11. Zero discharge vaccum-bio toilets
12. Wide windows
Also watch: Indian Railways set for game-changing moves
Train 20 semi-high speed train features:
Speaking exclusively to FE Online last year, Sudhanshu Mani, GM at ICF had said, “Train 20 is a Make in India project but the first rake will come from abroad. Train 20 would be 100% world-standard. We have called bids. European majors Siemens, Bombardier, Siemens and Alstom are together now, Stadler, Talgo – these are the people who will quote and we are hoping one of them will bag the order.” “The last 4 rakes will be built entirely in ICF,” he said. Under the project, 291 coaches will be made for Indian Railways. There will be 14 train sets of 20 coaches each. 11 spare coaches will be made as well. There is a strong possibility that these modern train sets will be used to reduce travel time and improve passenger experience on the Delhi-Mumbai route.
1. Two types of coaches – air-conditioned chair car and sleeper-type – will be manufactured. The sleeper type coaches will include AC – 1st class, AC-2 tier and AC-3 tier.
2. Test speed: 176 kmph
3. Under-slung 3-phase propulsion system
4. Automatic doors
5. Aluminium body
According to Mani, while Train 18 will be 90% world-class and Train 20 will be 100% world-class! ‘Make in India’ is a pet scheme of the Narendra Modi-led government and ahead of the Union Budget – of which the Railway Budget is now a part – the news on roll-out timelines for these world-class train sets certainly comes as a big boost.