Train 18, Indian Railways' first engine-less train for inter-city travel, will not only mark a big technological boost for the national transporter but also have a better pantry for food offered on-board! Modern heating and chilling equipment would offer better experience to passengers.
Train 18, Indian Railways’ first engine-less train for inter-city travel, will not only mark a big technological boost for the national transporter but also have a better pantry for food offered on-board! According to a railway official involved in the project, each coach of the new Train 18 will have a mini pantry with better equipment compared to that in Shatabdi Express trains. “We are importing equipment that is used to heat food and chill drinks. While the overall structure of the mini pantry will be similar to that of Shatabdi Express trains, these modern heating and chilling equipment would offer better experience to passengers,” the railway official told FE Online. What this means is that the food served to passengers would be better heated and the beverages will be served cold.
Train 18 is being manufactured under the ‘Make in India’ initiative by the Integral Coach Factory (ICF) Chennai and is expected to hit the tracks for trial runs sometime in early October. Train 18 will be a self-propelled engine-less chair car rake, that Indian Railways hopes will eventually replace Shatabdi Express trains. The first prototype of Train 18 will undergo extensive three month trials by RDSO (Research Design and Standards Organisation) before it is put to service. The semi-high speed train will be capable of achieving speeds of up to 160 kmph and will replace India’s fastest Shatabdi Express train. Speaking to FE Online, Railway Board Chairman Ashwani Lohani recently said that Train 18 is likely to run on the Delhi-Bhopal route from January 2019.
ICF claims that Train 18 will be manufactured at around half the cost of a similar train being imported to India. Train 18 has been designed and developed in a record time of around 18-20 months. It will be an air-conditioned train with executive and non-executive chair car coaches. The train’s technology is similar to metro network trains, where each coach acts as a propulsion unit, hence eliminating the need for an engine. Not only does the self-propulsion system allow for faster acceleration ad deceleration, running an engine-less train also does away with the need for locomotive reversal at stations. This would translate into faster journeys and lesser turnaround time for trains.
Apart from the engineering leap for Indian Railways, Train 18 will also have several features such as automatic doors with sliding footsteps, continuous windows, diffused LED lighting, more comfortable chairs, big luggage racks, fully sealed gangways, disabled-friend modular bio-vacuum toilets, passenger infotainment systems and on-board WiFi.