India’s first engine-less train, Train 18, breaches 180 kmph during trials
India’s first self powered engine-less train, known as Train 18, on Sunday breached the 180 kilometre per hour (kmph) speed limit during a trial run on Sunday, a senior railway official said. Designed to run at 160 kmph, the Train 18 breached the 180 kmph mark in the Kota-Sawai Madhopur section.
“Train 18 breached the 180 kmph speed limit becoming the first train in the Indian Railway to travel at such speed,” S Mani, general manager of Integral Coach Factory (ICF), Chennai, that has manufactured the train, said.
Railway minister Piyush Goyal also tweeted a video of the trial run when the train breached the 180 kmph mark.
“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,” News agency PTI quoted Mani as saying.
Initially, the Railways will roll out two Train 18s with 16-17 coaches each.
Train 18 is capable of touching 200 kmph but tracks in the Indian Railways’ network will need to be upgraded for that.
According to a (which) report, only 0.3% of India’s rail tracks, spread over 60,000 km, are fit to handle trains running at the speed of up to 160 km per hour.
The Train 18 had earlier successfully completed trials at a speed of up to 130 km per hour in Moradabad. It was moved to Kota in Rajasthan for trials at the speed of up to 160 km per hour.
With Rotating seats which can be aligned in the direction of travel in executive class, modular toilets with bio-vacuum system, modular luggage rack with glass bottom, sliding doors in coaches and continuous window glasses for contemporary modern look, this make in India initiative of the Indian Railways’ is full of modern facilities.
It will be provided with automatic plug type doors with retractable footsteps, which will open and close automatically at the stations. To provide entertainment, all coaches of the train will be provided with on board Wi-fi, infotainment and GPS based passenger information system (PIS) which will keep the passengers informed about the travel status.
According to officials familiar with developments, the Train 18 will offer both comfort and pace to the passengers and will fit the bill of replacing intercity express trains, which have travel time in six hour range. All coaches will be chair car type for day travel.