With Train18 Indian Railway Speedup its Modernization


Make in India campaign swept the nation with a wave that not only set trends in the Indian Industry but broadened the horizon towards innovative thinking. Each and every corner of the country was awakened by the campaign. Integral Coach Factory (ICF) based out of Chennai, could not have been left far behind and here they came out with one of their most ambitious project- Train 18!

India’s first engine-less semi-high speed train, ‘Train 18’, was rolled out on October 29th, 2018 by the ICF in Chennai which will eventually replace the Shatabdi Express for inter-city travel. Flagged off at the ICF premises by Railway Board Chairman Ashwani Lohani, the swanky 16-coach train will cut journey time by 15 per cent compared to the 30-year old Shatabdi.

As per news reports, priced at over Rs 100 crore per rake, this hi-tech train will give a major boost to the Indian Railways' system and will put it on par with the international railway systems. Each coach of Train 18 is expected to cost around Rs 6 crore, which is 40 per cent less than the cost of such trains globally.

With a potential to travel up to the speed at 160 kmph as against 130 kmph of Shatabdi, this project was completed in 18 months. Train 18 will undergo short runs near ICF for five days for testing its braking system, the on board air conditioning and other systems — as well as for familiarising the crew with the control systems — and reach New Delhi on November 7, 2018.

Here are few things to know about Train 18:

  • Train 18 is dubbed as next-generation train and has technical features for enhanced quick acceleration.
  • It is a full-AC train with 16 coaches and is designed in such a way that passengers can have a look at the driver's cabin.
  • It is a self-propelled train and is fitted with CCTV cameras.
  • There are two executive compartments in the middle with 52 seats each, whereas trailer coaches have 78 seats each.
  • Train 18 has diffused lighting, automatic doors and footsteps and a GPS-based Passenger Information System, among other features.
  • The footstep in a coach's doorway slides outward when the train stops at a station enabling passengers to alight safely with comfort in view of the variation in height between a train's floor and the platform.
  • The doors of Train 18 open only after the train stops to ensure safety of passengers. The train starts only after all doors are shut.
  • It has seats that can rotate 360 degrees and can be aligned in the direction of travel.
  • Other features of Train 18 include an onboard infotainment system with Wi-Fi, vacuum toilets and continuous windows.
  • All the coaches are connected by fully sealed gangways with integrated bridge plates, where passenger can walk across freely.

The Shatabdi trains were introduced in 1988 and
is presently running on over 20 routes connecting metros with other important cities. These driverless trains replacing them are definitely paving a way towards technology shift but how far these will be accepted by the Indian commuters?  Only time will tell!

The gleaming, blue-nosed train has a cone-shaped frontage, similar to a bullet train. At the moment if this is undoubtedly a step towards manufacturing a bullet train at ICF. Let’s wait and watch!

Besides Train 18, the Railways is also working on more advanced Train 20, an aluminium-bodied sleeper class train, which is set to replace the Rajdhani Express trains by 2020. While Train 18 will have a stainless steel body, Train 20 will be made with aluminium. With technological shift resulting in such wonders, we are definitely here to set some records in the coming years!


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