India’s first engine-less semi bullet train, Train 18, which is being regarded as a successor of the Shatabdi Express, is all set to hit the tracks for trials on October 29.
Driven by a self-propulsion module sans a separate locomotive, the train, capable of running at a speed of up to 160 kmph against 130 kmph of Shatabdi, comes with technical features for enhanced quick acceleration. It will most likely replace India’s fastest Shatabdi Express on the Delhi-Bhopal route.
The 16-coach prototype without a locomotive (engine) is developed by Integral Coach Factory in 18 months, 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 informed that it cost nearly Rs 100 crore to build the prototype and subsequent production would bring down the cost.
Train 18 would be fitted with CCTV cameras, would have two executive compartments in the middle with 52 seats each, whereas trailer coaches would have 78 seats each. Train 18 has diffused lighting, automatic doors and footsteps beside GPS-based Passenger Information System.
Train 18 will have several passenger-friendly features such as European-style seats, personalized reading lights, mobile charging points next to every seat, diffused LED lighting, continuous windows for the better viewing experience, fully sealed gangways for easy movement, modular bio-vacuum toilets, automatic doors with sliding footsteps and a swanky mini pantry with upgraded equipment.
Once Train 18 successfully passes its trials, it will hit the tracks from January 2019.