Train 18, India's first locomotive-less train, crossed the 180 kmph speed limit during a test run on Sunday, a senior railway official said. The Rs 100-crore indigenously designed train will be India’s fastest train once operational.
"Train 18 breached the 180 kmph speed limit in the Kota-Sawai Madhopur section. The major trials are now over, with just some more remaining. Based on the reports, fine tuning would be done if needed. As of now no major technical problem has cropped up," S Mani, General Manager of Integral Coach Factory (ICF) that has manufactured the train, said.
"We expect Train 18 to commence its commercial run from January 2019. Normally the trials take three months. But now it is happening faster than expected," Mani added.
On October 29, Train 18 was rolled out by the Integral Coach Factory (ICF) in Chennai that will eventually replace the Shatabdi Express for inter-city travel.
Here’s all you need to know about Train 18:
# The 16-coach semi-high speed 'trainset' built at a cost of Rs 100 crore per rake with 80 per cent Indian component has been designed for a maximum operating speed of 200 kmph.
# Five more units of the train would be produced by the ICF by the end of 2019-20 production year.
# The swanky 16-coach train will cut journey time by 15 per cent compared to the 30-year old Shatabdi.
# Within 2018-19 production year, another unit of the train would be manufactured and four more units would be manufactured by end of 2019-20 production year.
# Train-18 has two driving trailer coaches with aerodynamic driver's cab (nose cone) on both the ends which will enable quicker turn-around time at destinations.
# Fitted with CCTV cameras, Train-18 would have two executive compartments in the middle with 52 seats each, whereas trailer coaches would have 78 seats each.
# The footsteps in the coaches of the doorways are designed in such a way that it would slide outward when the train stopped at a station enabling passengers to alight safely with comfort in view of the variation in height between a trains floor and the platform.
# The railways will now turn its focus on another project - Train 20 - the next generation aluminium-bodied sleeper class trains that will replace the Rajdhani Express trains on the network and is expected to be rolled out by 2020.
(With PTI inputs)