India's First Engineless Train To Make Debut On Tracks Today: 10 Points

Train-18, the country's first engineless train which is being regarded as a successor to the 30-year-old Shatabdi Express, will undergo trials from today.

The train will undergo short runs to test its braking system, air conditioning and other systems.

New Delhi: India's first engineless, self-propelled train, the Train-18 trainset, makes its debut on the tracks today. Engineless trains till now ran in big cities as part of the Metro network, but Train-18 will be the first semi-high speed train to offer a comfortable inter-city ride. The swanky 16-coach prototype will travel at 160 kmph and is expected to cut travel time by 15 per cent compared to the Shatabdi Express trains, which it will eventually replace. The "Make in India" train has been manufactured by the Integral Coach Factory (ICF) in Chennai at the cost of Rs 100 crore.

Here are the 10 things to know about this train:

  1. The fully air-conditioned train with a stainless steel car body propels on electric traction like the metro trains. It has comfortable seats, on-board WiFi and infotainment. It's fitted with CCTV cameras and there will also be a GPS-based passenger information system.

  2. The first trainset will have 16 chair-car type coaches -- two executive chair cars and 14 non-executive chair cars. The maximum seating capacity of executive chair cars will be 56 passengers, while those of non-executive will be 78.

  3. Its automatic doors come with the facility of a sliding footstep that opens when the train arrives at the platform. The train has zero discharge bio-vaccum toilets with aesthetic touch-free bathroom fittings. The train's connecting areas are spacious for easy movement and can be accessed through automatic doors. The luggage rack has more space to accommodate more baggage.

  4. Other passenger friendly amenities include halogen free rubber-on-rubber flooring, concealed roller blinds for improved aesthetics and better view from the window and continuous energy-efficient LED lighting.

  5. The train will undergo short runs near the ICF in Chennai to test its braking system, air conditioning and other systems besides familiarising the crew with the control systems before it reaches Delhi on November 7.

  6. The train will then move to the Moradabad-Bareli section for 150 kmph speed trials for a few days. After that it will run at 160 kmph between Kota and Sawai Madhopur for the final trial, a senior Railway Ministry official said. 

  7. A trainset is a set of coaches coupled mechanically and electrically with driving cabins at both ends and distributed traction power across the train. Dubbed as next-generation train, it is capable of running at speeds of up to 160 kmph.

  8. Another advantage of this train as against a locomotive-hauled train is that there are no engine reversal requirements. Train sets also allow for quick acceleration and deceleration, hence reducing the travel time. 

  9. The ICF will make six such train sets, out of which two will have sleeper coaches. Sudhanshu Mani, ICF's General Manager, said that it cost about Rs100 crore to build the prototype, but its subsequent production will bring down the cost.

  10. The first trainset has a few imported components, such as French-made seats, brakes and couplers from Germany, along with a Czech-made door system, but all that will be indigenised for the next rake.