A sensational development and changes are gradually creeping in as the PM Narendra Modi’s government is already on a mission to transform the entire infrastructure of the Indian Railways. The future of the Indian trains will surely look far better than before.
In recent news, India’s first engine-less semi-high speed train- “Train 18” was rolled out on Monday, October 29 by the Integral Coach Factory (ICF). With a massive upgrade, these trains will eventually replace the Shatabdi Express for inter-city travel. The commuters will enjoy a realistic bullet train-like experience.
Digging dip, Train 18 has a seating capacity of 1,128 passengers in its 16 coaches. The semi-high speed ‘trainset’ built at an overall cost of Rs 100 crore per rake with 80% Indian component has been designed for a maximum operating speed of 160 kmph, officials added in a statement.
The manufacturer of the trains, ICF emphasised that the footstep in the coach’s doorway will slide from the outside when the train halts at a station. This interesting feature is designed to make sure that the passengers experience a safe and smooth journey.
The makers have designed the trains in such a way that commuters who suffer from some kind physical impairment would be able to travel with ease. For this, special arrangements have been made for the differently-abled inclusive of space for a wheelchair.
This is the first long-distance train without separate locomotive (engine) and was inaugurated at the ICF premises by Railway Board Chairman Ashwani Lohani. It would engage in trials in upcoming months, according to ICF officials.
The fully air-conditioned train will reduce journey time by 15% compared to the old Shatabdi that has been running for 30 years. The senior official said adding that five more units of the train would be produced by the ICF by the end of 2019-20 production year.
“It is a matter of pride that India has made such a train and that too, the ICF has done it within 18 months,” Lohani told reporters here.
“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,” Lohani said.
Train 18 is already set to undergo trials. Now, the Indian Railways will work on another project which is Train 20—the next generation aluminium-bodied sleeper class trains that will replace the Rajdhani Express trains on the network. It is expected to be rolled out by 2020.