Goodbye Shatabdi, hello Train 18: Country’s fastest train set for year-end launch
Train 18, the fastest from railways’ stable that will replace Shatabdi trains, is likely to be flagged off by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on December 29 from his constituency Varanasi, sources said Wednesday.
The country’s first engineless train will run between Delhi and Varanasi, the source said. Shatabdi was introduced in 1988 and is presently running on over 20 routes connecting metros with other important cities.
Train 18, manufactured by ICF Chennai at a cost of Rs 100 crore, recently became India’s fastest train by hitting speeds of over 180 kmph during trial-run on a section of the Delhi-Rajdhani route.
(Read more: All you need to know about Train 18)
The gleaming blue-nosed train comes fitted with amenities at par with the best in the world -- from on-board WiFi to a GPS-based passenger information system, touch-free bio-vacuum toilets, LED lighting, mobile charging points and a climate control system that adjusts the temperature according to occupancy and weather.
The train will have two executive compartments which will have 52 seats each and trailer coaches will have 78 seats each. The executive class will have rotating seats to match the direction of the train.
According to the tentative plan, the train will start from New Delhi station at 6 am and is expected to reach Varanasi at 2 pm. For the return journey, the train will start at 2.30 pm from Varanasi and reach the national capital at 10.30 pm on the same day.
Railway Minister Piyush Goyal, impressed with the success of Train 18 during trials, has recently asked ICF to build four more similar rakes in the current financial year.