NEW DELHI: Train 18 route confirmed! The state-of-the-art engine-less Train 18 will run between Delhi and Varanasi, Minister of State for Railways Rajen Gohain has confirmed. According to PTI, in a reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha, Gohain said the Delhi-Varanasi route has been proposed for the first Train 18 set. As many as 36 train set coaches have been planned, to be developed during the financial year 2018-2019 at Integral Coach Factory (ICF), located in Chennai, he said. Train 18, the ‘Make in India’ engine-less train, recently became Indian Railways’ fastest train by crossing the 180 kmph mark during its trials. It also suffered damages during its trial run on the Delhi-Agra route recently, with miscreants throwing stones and smashing a window of the train.
Manufactured at a cost of Rs 100 crore, the semi-high speed Train 18 has been undergoing extensive speed and safety trials by RDSO (Research Design and Standards Organisation) and is now ready to be inducted in the Indian Railways fleet of trains. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to flag off the luxury self-propelled Train 18 by end-December. Codenamed after the year it has been manufactured in, Train 18 will get its official name soon, with the Railway Ministry mulling several options.
With automatic doors and sliding footsteps, several aircraft-like features and a whole new semi-high speed propulsion technology, Train 18 will herald a new era in the history of Indian Railways. The train sets have been conceptualised to replace Shatabdi Express trains. The fully air-conditioned chair car train has European-style seats, a swanky pantry and is also disabled-friendly. The advantage of faster acceleration and deceleration will help Train 18 save around 15-20% of the journey time and with no locomotive reversal required the turnaround time would also be reduced.
ICF Chennai has been asked to manufacture two more Train-18 like sets this financial year. The coach factory has said that if tasked with, it can manufacture around 8 such train sets in financial year 2019-2020.