ICF rolls out Train 18, the NextGen Shatabdi
- India’s first engine-less semi-high speed train named “Train 18” was rolled out recently by the Integral Coach Factory (ICF) here and will eventually replace the Shatabdi Express for inter-city travel.
- This is the first long-distance train without separate locomotive (engine) and thus self-propelled.
- The 16-coach semi-high speed ‘train set’ built at a cost of Rs 100 crore per rake.
- Fitted with CCTV cameras, Train-18 would have two executive compartments in the middle with 52 seats each, whereas trailer coaches would have 78 seats each.
- About 80% of the design, technology and manufacture of Train 18, a predecessor to ‘Train 20’, is Indian.
- It has been designed for a maximum operating speed of 160 kmph.
- The new train comes fitted with amenities on a par with the best in the world as on-board Wi-Fi to GPS-based passenger information system, ‘touch-free’ bio-vacuum toilets, LED lighting etc.
- It also has a climate control system that would adjust the temperature according to occupancy and the weather.
- Every alternative coach is motorized, to ensure even distribution of power and faster acceleration/deceleration, thereby consuming much less energy.
- The coaches in the fully air-conditioned train are linked with advanced integrated bridge plates, leaving the train free of the shaky gangways Indian train travellers are used to.
- It has two driving trailer coaches with aerodynamic driver’s cab (nose cone) on both the ends which will enable quicker turn-around time at destinations.
4. Comparison with Shatabdi:
- It will cut journey time by 15 per cent compared to the 30-year old Shatabdi.
About Shatabdi: The Shatabdi trains were introduced in 1988 and is presently running on over 20 routes connecting metros with other important cities.
About Train-20: With Train 18 already 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.