Railway Board Chairman Ashwani Lohani on Monday flagged off India’s first engine-less semi-high-speed train - "Train 18" in Chennai. The Rs 100-crore indigenously developed high-tech, energy-efficient, self-propelled or engine-less train will eventually replace the Shatabdi Express for inter-city travel. Officials said India's first trainset -- Train 18 -- will be a game-changer for the Indian Railways.
The trainset has aerodynamically designed driver cabins at both ends for quicker turnaround at destinations.
Driven by a self-propulsion module sans a separate locomotive, the train, capable of running at a speed of up to 160 kmph, comes with technical features for enhanced quick acceleration.
The swanky 16-coach prototype without a locomotive (engine) will cut travel time by 15 per cent compared to the Shatabdi.
The self-propelled train, fitted with CCTV cameras, would have two executive compartments in the middle with 52 seats each, whereas trailer coaches would have 78 seats each.
It has a potential to travel up to the speed at 160 kmph as against 130 kmph of Shatabdi and would result in the travel time being reduced by around 15 per cent once the tracks are fit to suit Train 18’s speed.
Train 18 has diffused lighting, automatic doors and footsteps besides GPS-based Passenger Information System.
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.