Train 18, the first engine-less train of Indian Railways will replace India’s fastest Shatabdi Express! Financial Express Online learns that the trials for Train 18 will begin in October and given the fact that it will be a semi-high speed train, it will replace the Delhi-Bhopal Shatabdi Express train. “Coaches of Train 18 will be able to take speeds of 160 kmph and given the current track conditions, the Delhi-Bhopal route would be best suited for it,” Ashwani Lohani, Chairman of Railway Board told Financial Express Online.
Train 18, codenamed after the year it is being manufactured in, will mark a huge technological leap for the Indian Railways because it will be the first self-propelled train for inter-city travel. Self-propelled train sets are similar to metro trains, with driving cabin at both ends and no need for a locomotive to haul it. This eliminates need to reverse locomotives, and the propulsion system allows for faster acceleration and deceleration. This means that the train travel time between Delhi and Bhopal will come down considerably with Train 18.
Train 18 is being manufactured by Integral Coach Factory (ICF) Chennai and is expected to be ready for trials by the end of September.
After being rolled out, Train 18 will undergo extensive trials by RDSO for three months, given that it is a new technology for the Indian Railways. Train 18 will be tested on the Moradabad route and one route in the West, Chairman Railway Board told FE Online.
The all air-conditioned chair car train will be executive and non-executive coaches with more comfortable seats. Train 18 will offer several firsts – apart from being self-propelled the train will have automatic doors with sliding footsteps that will open on platforms. The train set will have fully sealed gangways, wheelchair-friendly toilets, diffused LED lighting, information screens for passengers among a host of other things.