Indian Railways first world-class semi-high speed train set will take passengers to India's first world-class railway station at Habibganj! While Train 18 is expected to roll out this month, the redevelopment work at Habibganj railway station is expected to be over by December end this year.
From January 2019, Indian Railways’ first engine-less train – Train 18 – will most likely replace India’s fastest Shatabdi Express on the Delhi-Bhopal route. What makes this development more special is the fact that the final destination of the Delhi-Bhopal Shatabdi Express is Habibganj – the first Indian Railways station that is being developed as a world-class transit hub. To put it simply, Indian Railways first world-class semi-high speed train set will take passengers to India’s first world-class railway station at Habibganj! While Train 18 is expected to roll out this month, the redevelopment work at Habibganj railway station is expected to be over by December end this year.
Being manufactured at Integral Coach Factory (ICF), Chennai, Train 18 will undergo extensive testing by RDSO over the next few months before being declared ready for the Delhi-Bhopal route. Train 18 is a self-propelled all AC chair car train set that will be able to travel at speeds of 160 kmph. The train set is eventually expected to replace Shatabdi Express trains on key Indian Railways routes.
Train 18 will have several passenger friendly features such as European-style seats, personalised reading lights, mobile charging points next to every seat, diffused LED lighting, continuous windows for better viewing experience, fully sealed gangways for easy movement, modular bio-vacuum toilets, automatic doors with sliding footsteps and a swanky mini pantry with upgraded equipment. ICF claims that Train 18 has been designed and manufactured in a record time of 18-20 months at almost half the cost of a similar train being imported.
WATCH NOW: Train 18 to replace Shatabdi! Sneak peek – how Indian Railways is making an engine-less train
Meanwhile, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal recently visited the Habibganj railway station and reviewed the redevelopment work, expressing satisfaction with the progress. Habibganj will be Indian Railways first station to be developed on the PPP (Public-Private Partnership) model. The station is being redeveloped by Bansal Group in agreement with IRSDC (Indian Railway Stations Development Corporation. The entire project will cost Rs 450 crore, of which Rs 100 crore will be spent on station redevelopment and Rs 350 crore on the commercial development.
The revamped Habibganj railway station will have airport-like concourse area with retail outlets and food plazas. The new revamped Habibganj railway station will have a glass dome structure with plush waiting lounges and clean toilets. The idea of video-game zones and virtual museums is also being considered, IRSDC MD and CEO SK Lohia told FE Online in an earlier interaction. The “Green building” will have LED lighting and waste water will be treated for reuse. The Habibganj railway station will ultimately be developed into a multi-modal hub with connectivity to the city’s metro.
Indian Railways has embarked on ambitious projects such as revamping and redeveloping its major stations into airport-like hubs, manufacturing world-class engine-less train sets for long distance travel (both chair car and sleeper), dedicated freight corridors to ensure speedier freight movement and decongest network for passenger trains, upgrading Mail/Express trains under Project Utkrisht and improving Rajdhani and Shatabdi Express trains to ‘Gold’ standards.