Indian Railways‘ high-speed, engine-less train named Train 18 (T18) will be rolled out soon. The train set manufactured in the Integral Coach Factory, Chennai has been named as Train 18 in consonance with 2018, the year of its production.
After being rolled out, the train set will revolutionize the passenger experience and take the Indian Railways to the next level. In fact, the available passenger amenities and features of train 18 sets will not only smoothen the railway journey experience of the passengers but also help in improving the brand image of Indian Railways. This self-propelled train set which will eventually replace Shatabdi Express trains on the Indian Railways network is designed to run at a top speed of 160 kmph.
“Earlier, we had a plan to roll out the first train by July 2018 but due to certain slippages of vendors the plan has shifted to September 2018”, says Sudhanshu Mani, General Manager of ICF. He added transmission equipment of the train is mounted below the floor.
Features of Train 18:
Train 18 is a 100% ‘Make in India’ project being manufactured at ICF (Integral Coach Factory) in Chennai. ICF claims that Train 18 will be manufactured at half the cost of a similar imported train set. First train set will have 16 chair-car type coaches – executive and non-executive. There will be two executive chair cars and 14 non-executive chair cars. The maximum seating capacity of executive chair cars will be 56 passengers, while those of non-executive will be 78.
Train 18 will have a stainless steel car body with LHB as the base design. The train set will be tested at speeds of 180 kmph. Unlike conventional trains, Train 18 will have continuous windows. This fully air-conditioned train set will have comfortable seats and the interiors will boast of diffused lighting. It will offer passengers onboard WiFi and infotainment. There will also be GPS-based passenger information system.
These trains will be equipped with automatic doors and the facility of a sliding footstep that will open once the train arrives at the platform. Train 18 will have automatic interconnecting doors and the connecting areas will be spacious for easy movement. It will have a halogen-free rubber-on-rubber flooring, concealed roller blinds for improved aesthetics and better view from the window and continuous energy-efficient LED lighting. They will boast of zero discharge bio-vacuum toilets with touch-free bathroom fittings. Luggage racks of these trains will be more spacious.
Train 18 coaches will also have space to park wheelchairs.
First 18 coach Train Set is likely to come out from ICF by September 2018. If officials are to be believed, first Train Set is going to start its commercial operation by November this year . Once it’s rolled out from ICF, then RDSO and CRS have to do a final test/clearance for the train set. After RDSO and CRS give clearance, train set will move for commercial operation. These train sets will be replacing TEJAS and Shatabdi trains but its fares are likely to be higher than existing Shatabdi trains.
A coach of train set will be developed at an expense of Rs 6.5 crore but officials say that the cost will go down below 6 crores after the process of manufacturing is scaled up. ICF has set a target of rolling out 4 more T18 trainsets by March-April 2019. This means that 5 train sets will be running on the tracks by mid-2019.
These trains are likely to be launched on certain railway routes, namely Delhi-Chandigarh, Delhi-Kanpur, Delhi-Lucknow, Mumbai-Pune, Chennai-Hyderabad etc.
Post successful launch of these Train 18, the Integral Coach Factory (ICF) has plans to launch Train 20 that will have Aluminium body with world-class safety standards. To be launched in the year 2020, these trains will be sleeper coaches and will be replacing the existing Rajdhani trains.