Train 18 breaches 180 kmph speeds during trials
03 December 2018
The indigenously-built Train-18, India's first self-propelled or engine-less train, on Sunday breached the 180 kmph speed limit during a trial run, becoming the fastest train in the country, a top official said in Chennai.
In the process, the Rs 100 crore indigenously designed train also became the country's fastest train.
"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," S Mani, general manager of the Integral Coach Factory (ICF) that manufactured the train, said.
Train 18 is capable of touching 200 kmph provided that the rest of Indian Railways' system such as tracks and signals permit, according to Mani.
"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," Mani added.
If all things go well, the Rs100-crore Train-18 will replace the current Shatabdi Express. With 16 coaches, the train will have the same passenger carrying capacity as that of the Shatabdi Express.
Officials said the train was conceived, designed and developed in about 18 months' time as against the industry norm of about four years.
It has aerodynamically designed driver cabins at both ends for quicker turn-around at destinations.
The train sports an advanced regenerative braking system which saves power.
The fully air-conditioned train offers better passenger comfort and safety, as all equipment are fixed under the carriage so that more space is available on board, officials said.
He said the ICF will roll out one more Train 18 this fiscal and four by the next fiscal.
Asked about a sleeper version of Train 18, Moni said: "We can roll out sleeper coaches as well. No major modifications to the train would be needed for that."
On the export potential, he said, first the domestic demand will be met and then the overseas market would be look at.
"The overseas demand depends on the kind of rail tracks they have. Medium income countries can certainly buy this train," Mani said.