New Delhi: Train 18, India’s first engineless train, also became the fastest train in the country when it crossed the 180 kilometers per hour (kmph) mark during a trial run in the Kota-Sawai Madhopur section. Sharing a video of the trial run in his tweet, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal said, “Train 18, manufactured domestically under the ‘Make in India’ initiative, seen scorching the tracks at a phenomenal 180 kmph during speed trials in Rajasthan."

According to an IANS report, Train 18 will start its operations from 25 December from New Delhi to Varanasi. “Christmas Day also happens to be the birthday of late prime minister Atal Behari Vajpayee and it would be a tribute to the great statesman of the country if we manage to launch the next-generation train on that day," a senior railway official told IANS.

Train 18 will take eight hours in its journey from New Delhi to Varanasi, reducing travel time by six hours. According to the schedule, the train will depart at 6 am and will arrive in Varanasi by 2 pm. On its return journey, the train will depart at 2.30 pm from Varanasi and will arrive in Delhi by 10.30 pm. Fares are yet to be decided. Since the input cost is high, it’s very likely the fare will also be higher than the normal.

The railway authorities have conducted all major trials and the results are satisfactory.

A look at some of the premium features of Train 18

1. The 16-coach train will have two executive compartments with 52 seats each and trailer coaches will have 78 seats each.

2. Train 18, the 100 crore train, when made operational, will become the country’s fastest train.

3. Train 18 will have onboard WiFi, a GPS-based information system, touch-free bio-vacuum toilets, LED lighting, mobile charging points, and a climate control system that adjusts the temperature according to occupancy and the weather.

4. This high-tech train will provide a major boost to the government’s Make in India campaign. More than 80 per cent of the train’s components have been manufactured in India.

5. The train was designed by Integral Coach Factory (ICF), Chennai.

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