Train 18, Indian Railways' first self-propelled 160 kmph capable train that was made to replace Shatabdi Express trains, may run on the Varanasi route!
Train 18, Indian Railways’ first self-propelled 160 kmph capable train may run on the Varanasi route! Varanasi is PM Narendra Modi’s Lok Sabha constituency. Two sources in the know-how of the matter told Financial Express Online that several routes are being considered for Train 18, some of which also connect Varanasi. “Apart from the Delhi-Bhopal route, Lucknow-Varanasi, Patna-Varanasi and others are under consideration as inaugural routes for Train 18,” sources told Financial Express Online. Earlier, Indian Railways had indicated that the first Train 18 prototype will replace India’s fastest Shatabdi on the Delhi-Bhopal route. However, the Railway Ministry has not yet finalised any route.
Interestingly, Integral Coach Factory (ICF) in Chennai, which has manufactured Train 18 will start work on the second rake in December. An ICF official told Financial Express Online that the second rake of Train 18 should be ready by February 2019. The trials for Train 18 by RDSO are currently underway and the new air-conditioned engine-less train is expected to start plying only by January 2019. Hence, there is a possibility that with two rakes, Train 18 may run on both Delhi-Bhopal and Varanasi routes!
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Watch Now! Train 18 exclusive first impressions: It’s world-class all the way!
Train 18 is an LHB platform 16-coach air-conditioned chair car with executive and non-executive coaches. The train boasts of several firsts – an all underslung self-propulsion system, rigid couplers for jerk-free rides, ability to accelerate and decelerate faster – all of which come together to increase speed and reduce the total travel time. On the amenities front, Train 18 has European-style seats, aircraft-like lighting and personalised reading lights, fully sealed gangways, modular bio-vacuum toilets, automatic entry/exit doors with sliding footsteps, luggage racks with glass bottom, CCTV cameras, GPS-based passenger information screens, WiFi-enabled pre-loaded infotainment, swanky pantry and even rotating seats in the executive class!
As stated earlier, Train 18 is undergoing extensive tests by RDSO on various stretches of the Indian Railways network. Train 18 will also be tested on some parts of the Delhi-Mumbai Rajdhani route at speeds of around 180 kmph. Sources told Financial Express Online that the trials are expected to be complete between December 15 and December 20 after which RDSO will analyse the data and prepare a report. The train will get a green signal to ply after the Commission of Railway Safety (CRS) gives the final nod.