Railways to have first locally-manufactured train plying at 160 kmph in a year

A new train, which is being locally manufactured, will be the fastest train in India, with an average speed of 160 km per hour, and set for launch in December next year.

The new train, reports say, will be an engine-less set of rakes, each powered by separate propulsion systems and would look like metro coaches. But, unlike the metro trains, the 16-coach train will be able to cover long distances.

The train, which is built on a much higher scale, will run at a speed of 160 km/hr, a senior Railway Board member said today.

The train, much like the EMU units serving urban passengers, comprises many coaches that are individually powered by a propulsion system, thereby eliminating the need for an engine.

"This will be India's first indigenous train set and will be rolled out on the tracks by December 2018," said Ravindra Gupta, a member of the Railway Board.

Initially, Railways plan to launch chair cars and eventually introduce sleeper cars.

These trains will have air-conditioned coaches and will be more comfortable.These trains will also have faster turnaround, reaching their destination quicker than the average trains.

These trains, like the metros, will also have automatic doors that will open and close at stations, wide windows, and ergonomically designed seating.

The coaches will also be equipped with bio-toilets and will be completely air-conditioned.

The first of these trains is likely to be pushed into service either in the Delhi-Lucknow or Delhi-Chandigarh sector.

The design, development, manufacturing, testing as well as the commissioning of the trains will be done by foreign suppliers while the coaches, except for the first two-three coaches, will be built at the Integral Coach factory (ICF).

With the ability to attain a maximum speed of 160 kmph, these trains fall under the category semi-high speed trains.

According to ICF, the aluminium-bodied self-propelled train sets will not just be energy efficient but also have various functionalities like under-slung 3 phase propulsion system, automatic doors and a test speed of 176 kmph.