07 Dec 2018
#Train18: Launch date, route, features of India's first engine-less train
Train 18, the first engine-less train in India, is set to become the country's fastest after breaching the 180kmph mark during a test run on the Kota-Sawai Madhopur section.
During its trial run, it broke the speed record set by the current fastest train, Gatimaan Express, which runs at 160kmph.
From launch date to route, fare details, and features, here's all about Train 18.
Train 18 can reach top speed of 200kmph: Officials
Train 18 was manufactured by Integral Coach Factory (ICF) in Chennai in 18 months under "Make in India" initiative.
"Train 18 breached the 180kmph speed limit... The major trials are now over...fine-tuning would be done if needed," said S Mani, ICF General Manager.
Railway officials said Train 18 can run at a top speed of 200kmph if tracks and signal system work in tandem.
When will Train 18 be launched?
Mani said the Train 18's commercial run would commence from January next year, adding, "It is happening faster than expected."
However, some Railway sources said Train 18 could be launched on December 25, which happens to be Christmas as well as former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee's birth anniversary.
They added the launch of the next-generation train could be a great tribute to Vajpayee.
Train 18 boasts of many world-class features
Train 18 is a fully air-conditioned train with world-class amenities that would replace the existing Shatabdi Express.
It has 16 coaches and is a high-tech energy efficient, self-propelled train.
Features include Wi-Fi facility, CCTV cameras, GPS-based passenger information system, infotainment system, automatic doors, roller blinds, automatic temperature control, LED lighting, charging points at every seat, and touch-free bio-vacuum toilet among others.
The route for Train 18's launch
Indian Railways is expected to launch Train 18 on the New Delhi-Varanasi route as Varanasi is PM Narendra Modi's constituency. It would take 8 hours to travel from New Delhi to Varanasi, reducing the current travel time by 6 hours.
What about the ticket fare?
As Train 18 was manufactured at a cost of Rs. 100cr, the tickets are expected to be on the pricier side. While officials have not decided on the ticket fares yet, they are likely to be higher than that of Shatabdi and Rajdhani Express fares.