Indian Railways has named the country's first indigenously built engine-less train, Train 18, as Vande Bharat Express, acknowledging its "Made in India" status, Railways Minister Piyush Goyal said.
The train will reportedly ply between Delhi and Prime Minister Narendra Modi's constituency, Varanasi. It will run at a maximum speed of 160kmph.
PM Modi is expected to flag off Vande Bharat Express soon.
Gift to people on occasion of Republic Day: Goyal
"It is completely made in India and various names were suggested by the general public but we have decided to name it Vande Bharat Express. A gift on the occasion of the Republic Day... Will request the prime minister to flag it off," said Goyal.
Designed and manufactured in only 18 months
Named after its target year 2018, Train 18, or Vande Bharat Express, was designed and manufactured in just 18 months - from the concept stage in Nov'16 to approval in Apr'17.
It has no separate engine and has 16 coaches. It was built at a cost of Rs. 97 crore and is a fully air-conditioned train. It will have stoppages at Kanpur and Allahabad.
It is also the fastest train in the country
The train is the first engine-less train manufactured in the country; it also became the fastest train after hitting speeds of over 180 kmph in a trial run.
The semi-high speed world-class train-set was manufactured by Integral Coach Factory (ICF) in Chennai in 18 months under "Make in India". Train 18 is a huge achievement for the Indian Railways.
The train boasts of many world-class features
Vande Bharat Express or Train 18 with world-class amenities would replace the existing Shatabdi Express.
The 16-coach train will also have two executive chair cars and is energy efficient and self-propelled.
Features offered 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.
A little about the ICF and Train 18 project
Founded in 1955, Integral Coach Factory (ICF) has rolled-out over 60,000 rail coaches till date.
It stopped manufacturing ICF coaches last year as they were considered outdated for Rajdhani and Shatabdi and began producing only state-of-the-art Linke Hofmann Busch (LHB) coaches part of Rajdhani and Shatabdi.
Sudhanshu Mani, the former General Manager of ICF, had conceived the idea of Train 18.