It was in 2016 that the coach factory approach the ministry with the idea, after which the nod was granted in April 2017.(HT File)
It was in 2016 that the coach factory approach the ministry with the idea, after which the nod was granted in April 2017.(HT File)

The story behind Train 18: It had to run over tough opposition

FASTEST TRAIN: The idea came after studying engineless trains of Japan, China and other European countries
By HT Correspondent | Hindustan Times, Lucknow, Lucknow
PUBLISHED ON JAN 05, 2019 10:29 AM IST

The plan to build Train 18, touted as the country’s fastest train, did not come easy.

Sudhanshu Mani, former general manager of Integral Coach Factory (ICF), Chennai that designed and built Train 18, said he conceived the idea in 1990 in the initial years of his innings with the Railways.

“In 1981 I joined Railways as assistant mechanical engineer. Over the years I saw how Railways in countries like Japan, China, Europe etc have developed their rail system by adopting engineless trains. This gave me an idea to work on my project of having our own engineless train. But I waited for the right time, which came in 2016 when I was appointed as GM at ICF, and then I began working on the idea that I conceived more than 20 years back,” said Mani.

He continued: “Taking my idea forward was not easy. As usual, the idea of manufacturing of an engineless train drew a lot of criticism. Officials objected to the idea and suggested that the technology could be hired from the countries that already have engineless trains. But I stuck to my point that I wanted to manufacture the engineless train here, with all intellectual property rights owned by India and not by any other country.”

It was in 2016 that the coach factory approach the ministry with the idea, after which the nod was granted in April 2017.

Barring the train’s aircraft seats, which are from Spain and China, rest of the train is made in India.

“After getting nod from the Railways, the challenge before us was to meet the expectations. But building a train from a scratch was not an easy task. We began manufacturing the coaches at the coach factory itself. But there were two areas — bogie design and interiors, in which we didn’t have much expertise, hence we hired two consultants from Poland and France to assist us. But we made sure that we held the right of intellectual property,” Mani said.

“We also found that in India there is not a single manufacturer who can build seats that are used in aircrafts. So the seats of the train were bought from Spain and China. And rest of the train is made, designed and manufactured in India itself,” he said.

Of the total cost incurred in building the train, he said 20 per cent was for the imported goods. The total cost was around Rs 97 crore, Rs 3 crore less than the cost that was fixed. He said the cost of one similar engineless imported train is around 180 crore.

LUCKNOW’S CHARM BROUGHT HIM BACK

It was perhaps the charm of his own city that brought him back. “Nothing could match Shaam-e-Awadh and the rich culture of the city. Perhaps it’s the lone reason that brought me back to my hometown, where I was born and brought up,” he said.

Mani completed his initial schooling from St Francis and finished his class 12 from Colvin Taluqdars’ College, after which he moved to Roorkee Engineering College. In 1975, he went for the special class railway apprentice programme at Indian Railways Institute of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering, Jamalpur and in 1981 got a job inducted in the railways. After his retirement he has decided to settled here.

Everything you need to know about Train-18

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
app
Close
Prime Minister Narendra Modi greets Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina before their bilateral talk, at Hyderabad House.(Mohd Zakir/HT PHOTO)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi greets Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina before their bilateral talk, at Hyderabad House.(Mohd Zakir/HT PHOTO)

How Dhaka got vaccines from India after China asked it to share trial costs

By Shishir Gupta, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON JAN 24, 2021 09:16 AM IST
India, in sharp contrast, sent a gift of two million doses of Covishield vaccine to Dhaka on January 21 as well as facilitated a commercial contract of 30 million doses with the Pune-based SII.
Close
Fog seen engulfed during the early hours of the morning in New Delhi. (Sanchit Khanna/ HT Photo)
Fog seen engulfed during the early hours of the morning in New Delhi. (Sanchit Khanna/ HT Photo)

News updates from Hindustan Times: Cold wave and all the latest news

By hindustantimes.com
PUBLISHED ON JAN 24, 2021 08:54 AM IST
Here are today’s top news, analysis and opinion. Know all about the latest news and other news updates from Hindustan Times.
Close
The problem of child pornography on the internet and social media has increased during the pandemic, says an expert. (iStockphoto/Representative Image)
The problem of child pornography on the internet and social media has increased during the pandemic, says an expert. (iStockphoto/Representative Image)

Sharp rise in child pornography cases worry experts

By Ramesh Babu | Edited by Abhinav Sahay, Thiruvananthapuram
PUBLISHED ON JAN 24, 2021 08:47 AM IST
  • Kerala seems to have made considerable progress in tackling the menace, statistics show.
Close
ITBP personnel during the full dress rehearsal for the upcoming Republic Day Parade, in New Delhi on Saturday.
ITBP personnel during the full dress rehearsal for the upcoming Republic Day Parade, in New Delhi on Saturday.

Woman fighter pilot, soldiers in masks: Key things to watch for this R-Day

By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Shivani
UPDATED ON JAN 24, 2021 08:29 AM IST
In more than five decades, this year's parade will be the first Republic Day parade to be organised without a chief guest. Before this, there were no chief guests during the Republic Day parade in 1952, 1953 and 1966.
Close
The presence of high attitude passes en-route to north and south banks of Pangong Tso on Ladakh rules out any withdrawal of Indian armoured units from the contested points.(File photo)
The presence of high attitude passes en-route to north and south banks of Pangong Tso on Ladakh rules out any withdrawal of Indian armoured units from the contested points.(File photo)

India, China to hold ninth round of talks to resolve Ladakh border standoff

By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Kanishka Sarkar
PUBLISHED ON JAN 24, 2021 08:21 AM IST
Army chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane said earlier this month that India was committed to resolving the situation along the contested LAC through talks but no one should test India’s patience.
Close
A health worker prepares to administer a Covid-19 vaccine to a hospital staff at a government Hospital in Jammu, India. (AP)
A health worker prepares to administer a Covid-19 vaccine to a hospital staff at a government Hospital in Jammu, India. (AP)

LIVE: New Zealand health officials probe probable community Covid-19 case

By hindustantimes.com
UPDATED ON JAN 24, 2021 08:57 AM IST
The US, India, Brazil, Russia and the UK are the five worst-hit countries, with the widely followed Johns Hopkins University tracker’s worldwide tally showing 98.27 million infections as of Saturday evening.
A shopkeeper arranges eggs in a tray in Thane district in this file photo. (Praful Gangurde/HT Photo)
A shopkeeper arranges eggs in a tray in Thane district in this file photo. (Praful Gangurde/HT Photo)

Bird flu: Avoid half-boiled eggs, undercooked chicken, says govt

By hindustantimes.com | Written by Meenakshi Ray, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JAN 24, 2021 08:34 AM IST
The regulator also said the World Health Organization has stated it is safe to eat poultry meat and eggs and that there is no epidemiological data to suggest the disease can be transmitted to humans through cooked food.
Close
Farmers sit at demonstration site during the ongoing protest against the new farm laws at Ghazipur Border, in New Delhi.(ANI)
Farmers sit at demonstration site during the ongoing protest against the new farm laws at Ghazipur Border, in New Delhi.(ANI)

Over 2 lakh tractors will be part of Jan 26 'kisan parade': Farmer leaders

PTI
PUBLISHED ON JAN 24, 2021 07:43 AM IST
Kirti Kisan Union president Nirbhai Singh Dhudike, who presided over a meeting of Punjab farmers' unions, said that more than one lakh tractors are expected to arrive from the state on Sunday.
Close
BKU spokesperson Rakesh Tikait along with farmers raises slogans during their ongoing agitation against Centre's farm reform laws at Ghazipur border, (PTI)
BKU spokesperson Rakesh Tikait along with farmers raises slogans during their ongoing agitation against Centre's farm reform laws at Ghazipur border, (PTI)

LIVE: Around 25,000 tractors from UP, Uttarakhand to participate in Jan 26 rally

By hindustantimes.com
UPDATED ON JAN 24, 2021 09:13 AM IST
Over two lakh tractors are expected to take part in the January 26 "Kisan Parade" in the national capital, farmer union confirmed on Saturday.
BKU spokesperson Rakesh Tikait along with farmers raises slogans during their ongoing agitation against Centre's farm reform laws at Ghazipur border,(PTI)
BKU spokesperson Rakesh Tikait along with farmers raises slogans during their ongoing agitation against Centre's farm reform laws at Ghazipur border,(PTI)

About 25,000 tractors from UP, Uttarkhand to participate in Jan 26 rally

PTI
PUBLISHED ON JAN 24, 2021 06:34 AM IST
The tractor parade will start from the Ghazipur, Singhu and Tikri border points of Delhi, but the final details of routes are yet to be finalised.
Close
The government had blocked 59 Chinese apps in June and 118 more apps, including PUBG mobile game, in September.(REUTERS)
The government had blocked 59 Chinese apps in June and 118 more apps, including PUBG mobile game, in September.(REUTERS)

Govt to continue ban on Chinese apps including Tiktok

PTI
PUBLISHED ON JAN 24, 2021 06:30 AM IST
The notice has been issued by the Ministry of Electronics and IT after reviewing replies of blocked apps. When contacted, Tiktok confirmed to have received a reply from the government.
Close
This is the second tunnel to be discovered in 10 days by the force that last year went on a campaign mode to detect and destroy a web of tunnels believed to have been built by Pakistan’s deep state, a senior BSF official said on Saturday.(PTI Photo)
This is the second tunnel to be discovered in 10 days by the force that last year went on a campaign mode to detect and destroy a web of tunnels believed to have been built by Pakistan’s deep state, a senior BSF official said on Saturday.(PTI Photo)

BSF unearths tunnel used by Pak to send in terrorists to India

PUBLISHED ON JAN 24, 2021 06:23 AM IST
The 39-metre-deep tunnel was detected between Border Post number 14 and 15 near BSF’s outpost at Pansar, Kathua district. On the other side of the fence are Pakistani border outposts of Abhiyal Dogra and Kingre-de-Kothe in Shakargarh district.
Close
“The design {of the tableau} is a celebration of workers’ well- being and security,’’ minister for labour and employment Santosh Gangwar said.
“The design {of the tableau} is a celebration of workers’ well- being and security,’’ minister for labour and employment Santosh Gangwar said.

Republic Day tableau to honour Indian worker

By Sunetra Choudhury
UPDATED ON JAN 24, 2021 08:18 AM IST
The theme of the tableau, which features workers in hard hats and safety gear, is encapsulated in the slogan: “Mehnat ko samman, Adhikar ek samaan’’ (Respect for hard work, Equal rights for all).
Close
On Saturday, 123 adverse reactions were reported across the country, according to the provisional data provided by the Union health ministry.(HT file photo)
On Saturday, 123 adverse reactions were reported across the country, according to the provisional data provided by the Union health ministry.(HT file photo)

1.5 million Indians receive Covid -19 vaccine in 8 days: Govt data

By Anonna Dutt, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JAN 24, 2021 06:04 AM IST
The daily number of shots administered had risen to 230,000 on Thursday after changes were made to the Co-WIN platform to allow walk-ins on Tuesday. The app now allows registered beneficiaries to get the shot out-of-turn even if their name does not figure on the list for a particular day.
Close
Union Home Minister Amit Shah launches 'Ayushman scheme' for personnel of the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF), in Guwahati, (PTI)
Union Home Minister Amit Shah launches 'Ayushman scheme' for personnel of the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF), in Guwahati, (PTI)

Shah launches cashless medical treatment scheme for CAPF personnel and families

By Utpal Parashar, Guwahati
PUBLISHED ON JAN 24, 2021 05:56 AM IST
“It’s a happy coincidence that on the 125th birth anniversary of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose we are launching this scheme for those on account whose valour and dedication the nation can sleep peacefully,” the Union home minister said.
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP