ICF rolls out Train 18, the NextGen Shatabdi

The 16-coach, Indian-made trainset was completed in Chennai in a record 18 months

Published - October 30, 2018 12:21 am IST - Chennai

Sleek package:  The ‘Train 18’ will be inducted into the Railways after safety checks.

Sleek package: The ‘Train 18’ will be inducted into the Railways after safety checks.

The gleaming, blue-nosed train standing at Chennai’s Integral Coach Factory (ICF) has a cone-shaped frontage, similar to a bullet train. The new train comes fitted with amenities on a par with the best in the world — from on-board Wi-Fi to GPS-based passenger information system, ‘touch-free’ bio-vacuum toilets, LED lighting, mobile charging points, and a climate control system that would adjust the temperature according to occupancy and the weather.

What ‘Train-18’ doesn’t have, however, is a locomotive to pull the coaches — it is a self-propelled, semi-high-speed trainset that will soon replace the box cars of the inter-city Shatabdis.

The much anticipated Indian-made trainset was unveiled to the public by Indian Railway Board chairman Ashwani Lohani on Monday at the ICF. Train 18 will undergo the mandatory safety checks before being inducted into the Railways in the coming months.

Speaking at the launch function, Mr. Lohani said Train 18 will be a game- changer for the Indian Railways. He said it can reach a maximum speed of 160 km per hour. The train can both accelerate and pull to a stop rapidly, thereby consuming much less energy, he added.

S. Mani, general manager of ICF, said the train was completed in a record time of 18 months after it was conceived in 2016. About 80% of the design, technology and manufacture of Train 18, a predecessor to ‘Train 20’, is Indian. The coaches in the fully air-conditioned train are linked with advanced bridge plates, leaving the train free of the shaky gangways Indian train travellers are used to.

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