As part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s flagship Make in India project, the country’s first indigenously manufactured and self-propelled semi high-speed train, which can travel at 160 km per hour, is all set to begin its services this June. The 16-coach train with the chair-car seating and all modern facilities will cost Rs 100 crore and will initially be deployed in place of one premium Shatabdi Express train. If successful, this train will replace all existing Shatabdi trains.
According to a report in The Economic Times, like metro trains, this train, which is built by Chennai-based Integral Coach Factory (ICF), does not require a locomotive and will run on electric traction. Each coach will cost nearly Rs six crore and the seating will be more spacious when compared to other trains.
“This will be the first ever semi high-speed train that is being manufactured by Indian Railways on its own. The train set would be able to run at the speed of 160 km per hour, making it the fastest in the country,” The Economic Times quoted ICF general manager Sudhanshu Mani as saying.
“We’ll be producing a record number of 2,500 rail coaches including 1,100 LHB coaches this year, which will be the highest ever for the ICF facility,” Mani added.
ICF is also considering manufacturing lightweight aluminium trains as per European standards. “The aluminium train set is likely to roll out in 2020 and it will be much more energy-efficient and will follow the European standards and will be kind of a leapfrog for rail technology in India,” Mani said.
The ICF is one of the earliest production units which was inaugurated by former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru on 2nd October in 1955. It has invented and experimented with new type coaches whether conventional, self-propelled or special types and has produced more than 54131 coaches since its inception in approximately 500 different designs.