Trial for engine-less 'Train 18' from next month

Trial for engine-less 'Train 18' from next month

Train 18. (Screengrab- YouTube/Hari Railfaningvideos)

The Indian Railways will start trials for indigenously-built and much-awaited semi-high speed 'Train 18' from next month, a senior official of the ministry said, three months after its scheduled unveiling.

Train 18, India’s first “engine-less” train designed to run at a speed of 160 km per hour, expected to replace the existing fleet of inter-city Shatabdi Express trains, was rolled out of the Integral Coach Factory (ICF) here in the first week of October.

Though the first train was scheduled to be handed over to the Railway Board to be inducted into regular service by July, the ICF sought more time to finish building the train, as it has promised world-class design and technology to the Indian Railways.

The fastest train, that will have a self-propelled engine like the vintage Electric Multiple Units (EMUs), is currently undergoing necessary tests at the ICF before it is handed over to the Indian Railways. Once the train set is rolled out of ICF, it will be tested on the Delhi-Bhopal route, which is capable of handling trains that run at a speed of 160 km per hour.

“Once we roll out the first set, it will be put to rigorous tests and trials by the state-owned Research Designs and Standards Organisation (RDSO). The trials will be supervised by the Commissioner of Railway Safety and only after his nod, the train will be inducted for passenger service,” S P Vavre, Chief Design Engineer, Design and Development Centre, ICF, told DH.

The first set is expected to replace the existing New Delhi-Bhopal Shatabdi Express that takes 8.5 hours to cover a distance of 707 km from January 2019, which was the first Shatabdi Express introduced in India in 1988. The Indian Railways currently runs 25 such super-fast premium trains across its vast network.

Though it is not for the ICF to decide the route on which the trials will be conducted, Vavre said since Gatimaan Express, the country’s fastest train that can run at a speed of 160 km per hour, is already plying on the Delhi-Bhopal route, trials of the Train may also be conducted on the route.

The ICF will conduct its own tests and trials before the train set is handed over to the Railway Board, Vavre added.

The indigenous trains that are designed to run at a top speed of 160 kmph will be free of locomotive since traction motors will be fitted underneath each coach to render them self-propelled, ICF engineers said.

“Train-18” will be fully air-conditioned, have Second Class and premium First Class and will boast of automatic doors, vacuum toilets, comfortable interiors, on-board infotainment and facilities for people with special needs. 

Features of “Train 18”:

Speed of 160 kmph

GPS based Passenger Information System

On-board Infotainment

Quick Acceleration

Under slung propulsion

Vacuum toilets

Comfortable interiors

Automatic doors

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