Train 18 a super hit! With trials of Indian Railways first engine-less train for long-distance travel proving to be a success, Piyush Goyal-led Railway Ministry has asked ICF, Chennai to expedite manufacturing of more such train sets.
Train 18 a super hit! With trials of Indian Railways first engine-less train for long-distance travel proving to be a success, Piyush Goyal-led Railway Ministry has asked ICF, Chennai to expedite manufacturing of more such train sets. According to a circular issued by the Railway Board to ICF, the coach factory has to now manufacture more Train 18 sets in the current production year. Earlier, ICF had the mandate to manufacture just one more Train 18 rake by March 2019. According to the new circular, a copy of which is with Financial Express Online, in a recent meeting of the Railway Board, led by Piyush Goyal it was decided that “necessary action should be taken” for manufacturing four more Train 18 rakes in the current year.
The Railway Board meeting took place last week on December 5. According to the circular, the Railway Board appreciated the success of “new indigenous train set (T-18)”. The circular adds that necessary changes in the production programme (of ICF) will be communicated shortly. In the meantime, ICF has been asked to start procuring material and also schedule the production activities to achieve the revised target.
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However, talking about the Railway Board’s direction, ICF GM Sudhanshu Mani told Financial Express Online, “ICF will try to make two more (Train 18 sets) in this financial year and up to 8 in the next financial year depending upon the allotment from Railway Board.” That takes the total number of Train 18 sets slated for production to 10.
Train 18 is an all air-conditioned chair car that was envisioned to replace Shatabdi Express trains on the Indian Railways network. The first prototype was rolled out by ICF, Chennai in end-October and since then the train has been undergoing extensive speed trials by RDSO. Recently, Train 18 became the fastest Indian Railways train, hitting speeds of over 180 kmph during its trials on a section of the Delhi-Mumbai Rajdhani route. It surpassed the record of Gatimaan Express which operates at 160 kmph.
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Manufactured under the ‘Make in India’ initiative, Train 18 is a self-propelled train set with all its equipment underslung. The semi-high speed train makes use of regenerative braking, hence saving energy. With faster acceleration and deceleration and lesser turnaround time, Train 18 will ensure faster travel and more efficient use of rolling stock. According to Sudhanshu Mani, Train 18 has been manufactured at Rs 100 crore, but the cost will come down as more rakes are made and economies of scale kick-in.