Days ahead of flag off, Train 18, India’s first engineless-train, “officially became the fastest train in the country” to travel at a sustained speed of 180 kilometers per hour (kmph) during a trial run, Union Minister of Railways Piyush Goyal said. The train has outsped Gatiman Express which currently holds the record of being the fastest train with a top speed of 160 kmph.
Taking to Twitter, the minister on Wednesday said, “Need for Speed: Train 18 seen cruising at a sustained 180Km/h, officially becoming the fastest train in India.”
Need for Speed: Train 18 seen cruising at a sustained 180Km/h, officially becoming the fastest train in India pic.twitter.com/2VNF1U3qrl
— Piyush Goyal (@PiyushGoyal) December 26, 2018
The train, which will replace Shatabdi trains and will run between New Delhi and Varanasi, will be flagged off by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on December 29. According to the event schedule, the train will start from New Delhi station at 6 am and is expected to reach Varanasi at 2 pm. For the return journey, the train will start at 2.30 pm from Varanasi and reach the national capital at 10.30 pm on the same day.
Manufactured by ICF Chennai at a cost of Rs 100 crore, the gleaming blue-nosed train comes fitted with amenities at par with the best in the world — from on-board WiFi to a GPS-based passenger information system, touch-free bio-vacuum toilets, LED lighting, mobile charging points and a climate control system that adjusts the temperature according to occupancy and weather.
The train will have two executive compartments which will have 52 seats each and trailer coaches will have 78 seats each. The executive class will have rotating seats to match the direction of the train.
While a series of trials were already conducted successfully, last week, the train was pelted with stones during a trial run between Delhi and Agra. “Train 18 running at 180 km/h between Delhi and Agra at this time… Srinivas, the Chief Design Engineer of ICF is in the cab, they touched 181 kmh for record sake… Some vandal threw a stone breaking a glass, hope we nab him,” Sudhanshu Mani, General Manager of the Integral Coach Factory that manufactured these state-of-the-art rakes had tweeted.