India’s first engine-less train is all set to chug for trials on October 29. Driven by a self-propulsion module without a separate locomotive, the train, capable of running at a speed of up to 160 kmph, comes with technical features for enhanced quick acceleration.
Named Train 18, the swanky 16-coach prototype without a locomotive (engine) will cut travel time by 15 per cent compared to the Shatabdi whose speed goes up to 130 kmph. The self-propelled train, fitted with CCTV cameras, would have two executive compartments in the middle with 52 seats each, whereas trailer coaches would have 78 seats each.
Developed by Chennai-based Integral Coach Factory (ICF) in 18 months, the unique design of the train gives passengers a chance to at the driver’s cabin. The full AC train is designed in such a way that passengers can have a look at the driver's cabin.
ICF General Manager Sudhanshu Mani told PTI that it cost nearly Rs 100 crore to build the prototype and subsequent production would bring down the cost.
"It will be unveiled on October 29, then it will do three to four days of trial outside the factory and then will be handed over to Research Design and Standards Organisation (RDSO) for further trials," he said.
Train 18 has diffused lighting, automatic doors and footsteps besides GPS-based Passenger Information System. The footstep in a coach's doorway slides outward when the train stops at a station enabling passengers to alight safely with comfort in view of the variation in height between a train's floor and the platform.