Train 18 — India’s first engineless train, which is being regarded as a successor to the 30-year-old Shatabdi Express hit the tracks for trials today. Once successfully tested, it will be inducted in the Indian Railways fleet. The semi-high speed train has been manufactured under ‘Make in India’ initiative by the Integral Coach Factory (ICF) in Chennai at the cost of Rs 100 crore. The fully air-conditioned train is a swanky 16-coach prototype without a locomotive (engine).
The self-propelled train is fitted with Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras for passenger safety and security. The train called ‘Make in India, Made for India’ by Railway Minister Piyush Goyal, has been fitted with Wi-Fi and infotainment. The train has two executive compartments in the middle with 52 seats each. The trailer coaches have 78 seats each. It will have 360-degree rotating seats. It was developed in 18 months and is designed in such a way that passengers can look at the driver’s cabin.
The indigenously built train has diffused lighting, automatic doors and sliding footsteps besides GPS-based Passenger Information System. The footstep in a coach’s doorway slides outward when the train stops at a station. This will allow passengers to alight safely with comfort. The train can travel up to the speed at 160 kilometres per hour as against 130 kmph of Shatabdi Express.