Train 18, the swanky 16-coach prototype, was developed by the Chennai-based Integral Coach Factory in 18 months.
Train 18, the country’s first engineless train, which is being regarded as a successor to the 30-year-old Shatabdi Express, is set to hit the tracks for trials on October 29.
Driven by a self-propulsion module sans a separate locomotive, the train, capable of running at a speed of up to 160 kmph, comes with technical features for enhanced quick acceleration. It will cut travel time by 15 per cent compared to the Shatabdi.
The swanky 16-coach prototype, developed by the Chennai-based Integral Coach Factory in 18 months, is designed in such a way that passengers can have a look at the driver’s cabin.
ICF General Manager Sudhanshu Mani told PTI that it cost nearly ₹ 100 crore to build the prototype and subsequent production would bring down the cost.
“It will be unveiled on October 29, then it will do three to four days of trial outside the factory and then will be handed over to Research Design and Standards Organisation (RDSO) for further trials,” he said.
Full AC train
The the full AC train, fitted with CCTV cameras, would have two executive compartments in the middle with 52 seats each, whereas trailer coaches would have 78 seats each.
Train 18 has diffused lighting, automatic doors and footsteps besides GPS-based Passenger Information System.
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.
Shatabdi was introduced in 1988 and is presently running on over 20 routes connecting metros with other important cities.