The Indian Railways is all set to roll out its first ever engineless train. Named Train 18 or T18, the semi-high speed train is considered as a successor to the 30 year old Shatabdi. The train has been manufactured under the ‘Make In India’ initiative by the Integral Coach Factory (ICF) in Chennai at the cost of Rs. 100 crore. It will go on its first trial on 29th October post which it will be added to the Indian Railways fleet.
Engineless trains were earlier only a part of the Metro in big cities. However, the T18 will be the first to offer an inter-city ride. The 16-coach prototype will run at an expected speed of 160 kmph and will shorten travel time by at least 15%. First, the train will undergo three to four days of trial outside the factory before being handed over to the Research Design and Standards Organisation (RDSO) for further trials, said ICF General Manager Sudhanshu Mani.
Here are some of the key features of the T18:
- The first train will have 16 coaches. 2 of them will be reserved for the executive class. The maximum seating capacity of executive chair cars will be 56, while the non-executive one will have 78 chair per coach.
- The executive coaches will have rotating seats. This is so that the seats face the direction of the train.
- T18 has a speed of 160 kmph. This is faster compared to the 130 kmph speed of the Shatabdi train.
- The train was developed in a period of only 18 months. The design is such that all the passengers can see the drivers cabin.
- The fully air-conditioned train with a stainless steel car body propels on electric traction like the metro trains.
- It has comfortable seats and for entertainment purposes there is on-board WiFi and infotainment. It’s fitted with CCTV cameras and there will also be a GPS-based passenger information system.
- The door has an automated footstep installed which will slide out when the train stops at a platform. This will ensure safety of the passengers and give an idea of the distance between the train and the platform.
- Similar to the Metro trains, the doors will only open when the train stops.
- For aesthetic purposes, the train has halogen free rubber-on-rubber floorings and concealed roller blinds. The compartments also include energy-efficient LED lighting.
- The T18 also includes imported parts such as French-made seats, brakes and couplers from Germany, and a Czech-made door system.
By Abhishek Aggarwal