Prime Minister Narendra Modi will flag off India's first engineless train Vande Bharat Express on February 15 from the New Delhi Railway station, a senior official of the ministry told PTI Wednesday.
Train 18, which was recently named as Vande Bharat Express by Railway Minister Piyush Goyal, has been manufactured by the Integral Coach Factory, Chennai.
It became India's fastest train by hitting speeds of over 180 kmph during a trial run on a section of the Delhi-Rajdhani route.
"The PM will flag off the train at 10 am on February 15 and there will be a function in which he will give a speech as well. It's a matter of great pride for us as this is the Railways' first indigenous high speed train," the official said.
The 16-coach train will replace the 30-year-old Shatabdi Express and will run between Delhi and Varanasi.
All you need to know about engineless Vande Bharat Express:
1. Rather than being pulled by a locomotive, Vande Bharat Express sets are powered by traction motors fitted underneath each coach to render them self-propelled, just like metro trains. The made-in-India fleet was earlier scheduled for roll-out in June.
2. The Vande Bharat Express, which is built by Integral Coach Factory (ICF), Chennai, would promote Make in India, and is capable of running at a speed of 160 km per hour, the official said.
3. Vande Bharat Express series will replace existing fleet of the Shatabdi Express trains. The official also said the ICF will make six such train sets, out of which two will have sleeper coaches.
4. Laced with state-of-the-art features, all of its coaches will be inter-connected by fully sealed gangways, automatic doors with retractable footsteps, onboard Wi-Fi and infotainment, GPS-based passenger information system, modular toilets with bio-vacuum systems, rotational seats which can be aligned in the direction of travel (available only in the executive class), roller blinds and diffused LED lighting and accessible toilet for people with disability.
5. Upon successful implementation of Vande Bharat Express, the IFC will start working on 'Train 20' which will have an all aluminum body. Aluminum will make the train more aesthetic, lightweight, energy efficient, and durable.