New Delhi: The Indian Railways is all set to replace their 30 years old Shatabdi Trains with new loco-less fully facilitated Train 18 series. These trains are being manufactured in Indian Railway’s Chennai stated Integral Coach Factory (ICF). The first trial run of these train 18 series will be started from October 29.
The trains have no engine line of metro trains and will be driven by a self-propulsion module sans a separate locomotive and the train can run with the speed of up to 160 km per hour, with advanced technical features for enhanced quick acceleration.
The swanky 18 coach prototype without a locomotive (engine) will cut travel time by 15 percent compared to the Shatabdi. The train 18 will be fully air-conditioned with smart look of driver’s cabin. The train can be driven from both sides like metro trains.
According to ICF General Manager Sudhanshu Mani, the one train 18 costs 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 3-4 days of trial outside the factory after that will be handed over to the Research Design and Standards Organisation (RDSO) for further trials.
These self-propelled trains are fitted with CCTV cameras, would have two executive compartments in the middle with 52 seats each, whereas trailer coaches would have 78 seats each.
The train 18 has the potential speed of 160 km per hour as compared to 130 km per hour of Shatabdi and would result in the travel time being reduced by around 15 percent once the tracks are fit to suit its speed.
In addition to GPS-based Passenger Information System, Train 18 has diffused lighting, automatic doors, and footsteps. 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.
The Indian Railways has introduced Shatabdi Express in 1988 and these trains are presently running on over 20 routes connecting metros with other important cities of the country.