Train 18 – India’s fastest train, that will be flagged off by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on December 29, in Varanasi, which happens to be PM Modi’s constituency.
According to reports, Chennai’s Integral Coach Factory (ICF) has manufactured the Train 18 at a cost of Rs 100 crore. During its trial-run, India’s fastest train hit a speed of more than 180 km/h on a section of the Delhi-Rajdhani route.
The Train 18 is fitted with amenities at par with the best in the world – from onboard 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.
India’s fastest train does not have a separate locomotive engine like conventional trains. It is to be noted that the first and last coaches of the train will have a control cabin for the driver – and these are the propulsion units of the train, technically making it an ‘engineless’ train.
Here are 6 reasons why this ‘engineless’ Train 18 is a big deal:
1. India’s fastest train will be a full-fledged AC train. For the moment, it only has chair car coaches.
2. There are 16 coaches on the Train 18, with the first and last coaches connecting to the pantograph. These are the ‘engines’ of the train, although they form an integral part of the train set.
3. According to reports, almost 14 coaches will be non-executive chair cars that can seat 78 people in 3+2 configuration, while two premium chair cars will have a 2+2 configuration.
4. The Train 18 will have a WiFi connection available to the passengers. The train will be monitored via CCTV cameras. The executive coaches feature seats that can turn 180 degrees, so that passengers always face the direction of travel.
5. The turnaround time will be much shorter with this train as it has a cab on either side. Therefore, there is no need to change the position of the locomotive engine around in a shunting yard.
6. Being a fully air-conditioned train, it will also come with automatic doors and steps that deploy according to the height of the platform. This will ensure that people don’t jump out of moving trains. The train won’t move until all the doors are shut, just like metro coaches.