Train 18, Indian Railways’ fastest engine-less self-propelled train, is generating buzz around the world with the national transporter receiving queries from several countries for exports. According to Rajesh Agrawal, Member Rolling Stock, Indian Railways is hoping to export Train 18-like train sets to Middle-east, South-east Asian, South American, North American and European countries and has already received queries of interest. “There is a $200 billion rolling stock market in the world, in which our (Indian Railways) share is negligible. We hope to change that with Train 18,” Rajesh Agrawal told Financial Express Online.
Train 18 has been manufactured at a cost of approximately Rs 100 crore by the Integral Coach Factory in Chennai. Indian Railways believes that the world-class product will be a lucrative option for other countries, especially given its cost advantage. “On an average, around the world a coach similar to that in Train 18 costs around Rs 24-25 crore. In India, we are making it at approximately Rs 6 crore. That’s a huge cost benefit for any country that places an order with Indian Railways,” Agrawal said. “Apart from that, Train 18 is both environment and passenger friendly, so it’s a win-win situation. We can also modify features based on demand,” Agrawal told Financial Express Online.
Train 18 is currently undergoing an extensive evaluation process before being introduced on the Delhi-Varanasi route. The engine-less train became India’s fastest at 180 kmph during its trials by RDSO. It will have an operational speed of 160 kmph. The distributed underslung system of Train 18 allows for faster acceleration and deceleration, hence reducing the total journey time of the train. The all air-conditioned chair car Train 18 has several passenger-friendly features such as fully sealed gangways for easy movement, automatic doors with sliding footsteps, European-style comfortable seats, aircraft-like diffused LED lighting, modular bio-toilets, rotating seats in Executive chair car, disabled-friendly toilet, wheelchair parking space, passenger information systems etc.
As Indians look forward to the introduction of Train 18, it’s a leg up for Indian Railways that the new world-class train set has already generated export interest.