On Sunday, first locomotive-less train in India or Train 18 has crossed the speed limit of 180 kmph during a trial run in Chennai, reports a top official. During the test run, Rs. 100 crore indigenously designed trains has become India’s fastest.
General Manager of ICF (Integral Coach Factory) S. Mani has manufactured the Train 18 said, “Train 18 breached the 180 kmph speed limit in the Kota-Sawai Madhopur section. The major trials are now over with just some more remaining. Based on the reports fine tuning would be done if needed. As of now, no major technical problem has cropped up.”
He continued that “We expect Train 18 to commence its commercial run from January 2019. Normally the trials take three months. But now it is happening faster than expected.”
If everything goes well, Train 18 will surely replace the current fastest Shatabdi Express.
Train 18 is competent of touching 200 kmph, which provided that the rest of Indian Railway’s system such as signals permits and tracks, said Mr. Mani.
When asked about rolling out a sleeper version of Train 18, Mr. Mani said that “We can roll out sleeper coaches as well. No major modifications to the train would be needed for that.”
ICF will roll out for more Train 18 in this fiscal and four by the upcoming fiscal.
On the potential of exports, he continued that first the domestic demand will be fulfilled and then the overseas market would be looked at.
Mr. Mani continued, “The overseas demand depends on the kind of rail tracks they have. Medium income countries can certainly buy this train.”
Train 18 has 16 coaches, which will have the carrying capacity of same passengers as that of the Shatabdi Express. It’s about 15-20 % energy efficient and leaves less carbon footprint.
Official reports that the train was designed, conceived and developed in more than 18 months time as against the norms of the industry of about 4-years.
Train 18 has an aerodynamically designed driver cabin at both the ends for quick turn-around at destinations.