New Delhi: India’s first engine-less semi-high speed train, ‘Train 18’, was rolled out on Monday by the Integral Coach Factory (ICF) in Chennai and will eventually replace the Shatabdi Express for inter-city travel. The swanky 16-coach train will cut journey time by 15 per cent compared to the 30-year old Shatabdi. The engine-less train was flagged off at the ICF premises by Railway Board Chairman Ashwani Lohani. With Train 18 set to go for trials, the railways will now turn its focus on another project - Train 20 - the next generation aluminium-bodied sleeper class trains that will replace the Rajdhani Express trains on the network and is expected to be rolled out by 2020.

Railway Board Chairman Ashwani Lohani flags off country’s first engine-less train ‘Train 18’. Photo: PTI
Railway Board Chairman Ashwani Lohani flags off country’s first engine-less train ‘Train 18’. Photo: PTI

The fully air-conditioned train, driven by a self-propulsion module, has the potential to become the country’s fastest train provided the infrastructure was improved, Lohani said.

India’s first engine-less train ‘Train 18’ is developed by the Integral Coach Factory (ICF), Chennai. Photo: PTI
India’s first engine-less train ‘Train 18’ is developed by the Integral Coach Factory (ICF), Chennai. Photo: PTI

Train 18’ is built at a cost of 100 crore per rake with 80 per cent Indian component has been designed for a maximum operating speed of 160 kmph, officials said.

Visitors take pictures with the country’s first engine-less train ‘Train 18’. Photo: PTI
Visitors take pictures with the country’s first engine-less train ‘Train 18’. Photo: PTI

All the coaches are connected by fully sealed gangways with integrated bridge plates, where passenger can walk across freely.

Visitors inside the country’s first engine-less train ‘Train 18’, developed by the Integral Coach Factory (ICF) during its flagging-off ceremony, in Chennai on Monday. Photo: PTI
Visitors inside the country’s first engine-less train ‘Train 18’, developed by the Integral Coach Factory (ICF) during its flagging-off ceremony, in Chennai on Monday. Photo: PTI
The self-propelled train, fitted with CCTV cameras, will have two executive compartments. Photo: AFP
The self-propelled train, fitted with CCTV cameras, will have two executive compartments. Photo: AFP

The Shatabdi trains were introduced in 1988 and is presently running on over 20 routes connecting metros with other important cities.

India’s first engine-less train is designed in such a way that passengers can have a look at the driver’s cabin. Photo: AFP
India’s first engine-less train is designed in such a way that passengers can have a look at the driver’s cabin. Photo: AFP

“It is a matter of pride that India has made such a train for the first time and that too ICF has done it within 18 months," Railway Board Chairman Ashwani Lohani said.

Railway Board Chairman Ashwani Lohani sits in the driver’s cabin after flagging off country’s first engine-less train ‘Train 18’. Photo: PTI
Railway Board Chairman Ashwani Lohani sits in the driver’s cabin after flagging off country’s first engine-less train ‘Train 18’. Photo: PTI

Like Metro coaches, the doors of Train 18 will open only after the train stops. The train will have two executive compartments which will have 52 seats each, whereas trailer coaches will have 78 seats each. The executive class will have rotating seats to match the direction of the train. Train 18 has diffused lighting, an on-board infotainment system with Wi-Fi, vacuum toilets, sliding doors besides a GPS-based passenger information system. The footstep in a coach’s doorway slides outward when the train stops at a station to help passengers to alight safely with comfort.

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