New Delhi: A first-of-its-kind 16-bogie metro-like train, capable of achieving a maximum speed of 160 kilometres per hour, is ready to hit the tracks from January. Conceptualised, designed and manufactured indigenously by the Integral Coach Factory (ICF), this train will reduce travel time for passengers.
The newly made train-set has been manufactured by the ICF in a record time of 18 months and will run in the route of Delhi-Bhopal Shatabdi for its inaugural ride. Currently, only Gatiman Express touches the same speed of 160 kilometres per hour.
Unlike regular trains, this train will have a higher acceleration, making it faster to pick up of speed. Normal trains have engines, however, in Train-18, the engine will be a part of the coach.
Specifying the main feature of Train-18, ICF Managing Director Sudhanshu Mani told ANI, “The main feature of Train 18 is that it replaces 18 coaches of Shatabdi and one or two locomotives, with only 16 coaches, and with faster acceleration - which will cut down travel time. It is 16 coaches because it is a train-set built for the first time in India. All the equipment are under the floor and the entire floor space will be available for passengers. Apart from that, it has many features for the safety of passengers. The main selling point is that it will cut down travel time. Once the trials are successful we will manufacture more of these.”
Elaborating on the advanced safety features, Mani added, “Safety has been of paramount importance while we were designing this, so the bogies on which the train rides have been designed in a way that it can run at 160 kilometres per hour without the fear of any derailment, the couplings have been designed in a manner that in case of any unfortunate incident like a collision, no coach can climb over the others to ensure that injury to passengers is minimal in case of a severe accident and casualties will be zero. It also has good fire protection materials along with other safety features.”
When asked if the ICF is now capable to manufacture high-speed bullet trains and metro trains, Mani said, “I can say now we are ready to manufacture high-speed bullet trains and metro trains, this is our first step, we have to take few more steps, but we are capable.”
He also added that the manufacturing of Train-18 is the best example of the “Make in India” initiative and is a gift of the ICF to Indian Railways.
Mani also praised the enthusiasm of the staff members at the ICF and credited the manufacturing of Train-18 – the launch of which is being termed as historical and is expected to bring a paradigm change in the way Indians travel.
Six more trains will be manufactured, and maintenance facilities for the train are being developed in New Delhi.