Train 18 -- the country's first engine-less semi-high speed train -- is likely to start operations by December 15, a senior railway ministry official was quoted as saying in a Press Trust of India (PTI) report. The train is currently undergoing trials in Moradabad. Train 18 will run at a maximum speed of 160 kilometres per hour (kmph) between either Delhi and Varanasi or Delhi and Bhopal, the report said. Train 18 was launched last month amid much fanfare by Railway Board Chairman Ashwani Lohani at the Integrated Coach Factory in Chennai.
Here are 10 things to know about Train 18:
1. Train 18 is a fully air-conditioned train which is driven by a self-propulsion module and comes with technical features for enhanced quick acceleration.
2. It is a gleaming, blue-nosed train with a cone-shaped frontage, similar to a bullet train.
3. Train 18 is regarded as a successor to the prestigious 30-year-old Shatabdi Express.
4. There are 16 coaches comprising of executive and non-executive classes. The seating capacity is 1,128.
5. There are two executive compartments in the middle with 52 seats each, whereas trailer coaches have 78 seats each.
6. The seats can rotate 360 degrees and can be aligned in the direction of travel.
7. The coach doors open only when the train is at zero kmph and the train starts only when all the coach doors are properly closed.
8. The footstep in a coach's doorway slides outward when the train stops at a station enabling passengers to alight safely with comfort in view of the variation in height between a train's floor and the platform.
9. Train 18 has amenities such as- on-board WiFi, 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 weather.
10. Train 18 was built in 18 months. After finishing the trials in the city, Train 18 left for Delhi on November 11 and reached the capital two days later.