CHENNAI: India’s much-awaited indigenously manufactured semi high-speed train, code-named Train 18, is expected to be rolled out in September. The train, built by Integral Coach Factory (ICF) of Chennai to promote Make in India, is capable of running at a speed of 160 km per hour. The luxury train was earlier scheduled for roll-out in July. When asked about the reason for the delay, ICF Chennai General Manager Sudhanshu Mani said there was no delay but only change in anticipated turnout time.
“There is no delay. The train has been built in record time of 16 months while it takes 2 to 3 years to manufacture such trains anywhere in the world. Earlier, the anticipated turnout time was July. We now expect to roll it out in September,” said Mani.
Train 18 doesn’t require an engine to run as it will be self-propelled on electric traction like the metro trains. It will replace existing intercity express trains including Shatabdis. ICF will make six such train sets, out of which two will have sleeper coaches.
The train has some striking features to enhance passenger comfort. The most prominent feature is that all coaches are inter-connected by fully sealed gangways to enable passenger movement from one coach to another. Here are some of the other key features of Train 18:
* Automatic doors with retractable footstep.
* Onboard Wi-Fi and infotainment.
* GPS-based passenger information system.
* Modular toilets with bio-vacuum system.
* Improved centre couplers to lessen jerk impact.
* Electro-pneumatic brake system with brake discs mounted directly on wheel discs to reduce the braking distance.
* All coaches are AC chair-car type (executive class as well as second class) including the driving cab.
* Continuous window glasses for contemporary look.
* The executive class will have rotating seats which can be aligned in the direction of travel.
* Modular luggage rack with glass bottom.
* New bogie design with fully suspended traction motors.
* Roller blinds and diffused LED lighting.
* Halogen-free rubber-on-rubber flooring.
* Space for wheelchair.
* Accessible toilet for persons with disability.