Train 18 is safe for passengers as its coaches are fitted with fire-resistant fibre composites. In case of fire thes components do not generate poisonous gases or molten droplets; keeping escape ways open for passengers to get out.
Train 18, Indian Railways’ first engine-less train set, which has been developed indigenously by the Integral Coach Factory (ICF), is also fire-proof! According to an IANS report, the self-propelled train set provides safety to passengers as its coaches are fitted with fire-resistant fibre composites. ICF’s General Manager Sudhanshu Mani was quoted in the report saying that the interiors of the coach have been made up of composite materials, which are fire resistant. He explained that the interiors were manufactured in the country and that ICF sourced the fibre-reinforced plastics (FRP) from manufacturers in Chennai.
All the panels inside Train 18 coaches are built with composite material. A senior railway ministry official was also quoted saying that the FRP has been used in the Train 18 sets to make it more power efficient and light weight which enables the train to move faster as compared to other train sets currently in service in India. The official claimed that the FRP materials are very light as compared to those made of steel and aluminium. In case of fire these composite components do not generate poisonous gases, or spread molten material or droplets, thus keeping escape ways open for passengers to get out.
Significant features of Train 18:
Inter-connected fully-sealed gangways
Automatic doors along with retractable footsteps, onboard Wi-Fi, infotainment
GPS-based passenger information system
Modular toilets with bio-vacuum systems
Rotating seats which can be aligned in the direction of travel (only in the executive class)
Roller blinds and diffused LED lighting
Train 18 is presently undergoing trials under the supervision of Research Designs and Standards Organisation (RDSO). It has successfully completed the trial run up to a speed of 180 kmph – making it the fastest on Indian Railways network! Train 18 is self-propelled on electric traction like metro trains and has been conceptualised to replace the existing fleet of Shatabdi Express trains next year.