A 16-coach prototype of Train 18, Indian Railways’ first engine-less train, made its inaugural trial run on Monday. Capable of running at a speed of up to 160 kmph, Train 18 is being referred to as a successor to the 30-year-old Shatabdi Express.
The fully air-conditioned semi-high speed train, which will cut travel time by 15 per cent as compared to the Shatabdi, has been manufactured under ‘Make in India’ initiative by the Integral Coach Factory (ICF) in Chennai at the cost of Rs 100 crore and completed in a record 18 months.
Here are 10 interesting facts and swanky features of Indian Railways’ first self-propelled train:
* Train 18 will have modern air-conditioned coaches interconnected with fully sealed gangways blocking noise and dust. The train is designed in such a way that passengers can have a look at the driver’s cabin.
* The train will have centrally operated automatic plug doors with sliding steps that close the gap between coaches and station platform. Besides, it will also have touch-free automatic doors inside the passenger compartment.
* The coaches on either ends will come with disabled-friendly passenger bays and disabled-friendly toilets. It will also feature onboard uninterrupted Wifi and infotainment system.
* Each compartment will have GPS-enabled passenger information system, showing train speed, location, time to reach destination etc.
* Train 18 will have multilevel lighting system, similar to aircraft lighting, and will come equipped with comfortable seating, window blinds and luggage racks.
* All the equipments of the train are mounted underneath the floor so the entire train will be available for passengers.
* Train 18 has aircraft-like bio-vacuum toilets for efficient flushing. Touch-free sensor-based fittings have been used for optimal consumption of water.
* A unique feature of the executive chair car seats is that they can be rotated 180 degrees to face fellow passengers and can be aligned in the direction of travel.
* A mini pantry will be instituted in each coach of Train 18 and will have state-of-the-art equipment for better heating of food and chilling of cold drinks and juices.
* Six train sets have been sanctioned with the second one planned to be rolled out for testing in February. Four more sets are being aimed to be manufactured in 2019-20. The ICF team plans to replace these sets with all premium long distance locomotive-hauled trains.