New Delhi: Train 18, India’s fastest train, will very soon hit the tracks. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will flag off Train 18, the all-new Shatabdi, from his constituency, Varanasi, on 29 December, according to a PTI report. The country’s first engineless train will replace Shatabdi trains and will run between Delhi and Varanasi, the PTI report quoted source as saying.

According to the tentative plan, the train will start from New Delhi station at 6 am and is expected to reach Varanasi at 2 pm. For the return journey, the train will start at 2.30 pm from Varanasi and reach the national capital at 10.30 pm on the same day.

The railway authorities have conducted all major trials and the results are satisfactory, says the report

Five things to know about India’s first engineless train

1. Train 18, manufactured by ICF Chennai at a cost of 100 crore, recently became India’s fastest train by hitting speeds of over 180 kmph during a trial run.

2. When Train 18 starts its operations, the travel time will be reduced by around 15% once tracks are fitted to suit.

3. Commenting on the success of Train 18 trials, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal in a tweet attributed it to the “testament to the quality of workmanship and design of our engineers."

4. The gleaming blue-nosed train comes fitted with many new amenities for passengers.

5. The train will have two executive compartments which will have 52 seats each and trailer coaches will have 78 seats each. The executive class will have rotating seats to match the direction of the train.

Now, the railways will 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.

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