Touted to be India’s fastest, Train 18 is set to begin its commercial run between New Delhi and Varanasi soon. The Railways is likely to request Prime Minister Narendra Modi to flag off the train after some necessary work is completed this month.
The train, which reached a maximum speed of 180 kmph during trial runs, can reach Varanasi from the national capital in around eight hours which, railway officials said, is 45 per cent less time than what the fastest train to Varanasi currently takes.
On Wednesday, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal inspected the new train at New Delhi railway station and expressed satisfaction. He reportedly told the Railways to bring down the cost of production of the future rakes.
Train 18 is the first trainset manufactured entirely in the country under the ‘Make in India’ initiative.
While the fare of the train has not been finalised yet, sources said, it is likely to be in line with the Tejas Express that runs between Mumbai and Goa.
Railways is also carrying out campaigns to educate people against throwing stones at the shining new 16-coach train with extended glass windows. In fact, the Railway Protection Force (RPF) has started sensitizing people, including children, along the train’s route to not throw stones at the train.
The train reportedly developed a small scratch after a stone was thrown at it while entering Delhi. According to the RPF, the incident happened near Safdarjung area in Delhi.
“We have reached out to the people and explained to them that this is a national asset and this (stone pelting) should not be done,” Arun Kumar, RPF Director General, told The Indian Express.