With the Train 18 speeding up to 180 kmph during a trial on Sunday, efforts are on to launch the first indigenously-built, engine-less train on 25 December from New Delhi to Varanasi. Equipped with world-class facilities, Train 18 is equipped with onboard WiFi, a GPS-based information system, touch-free bio-vacuum toilets, LED lighting, mobile charging points, and a climate control system that adjusts the temperature according to occupancy and weather.
According to the tentative plan, on Christmas Day, the train will start from New Delhi station at 6 am and is expected to reach Varanasi at 2 pm. For the return journey, the train will start at 2.30 pm, from Varanasi and reach the national capital at 10.30 pm.
Although the speed touched 180 kmph during Sunday's trial run, Train 18 will only be allowed to run at a maximum speed of 160 kmph in its commercial operations.
The Rs 100-crore indigenously developed high-tech, energy-efficient, self-propelled or engineless train was unveiled on 29 October by Railway Board chairman Ashwani Lohani. Since the input cost of the Rs 100-crore train is high, the fare structure will also be higher than the normal fare. However, the official added that the decision on its launch date and fare are yet to be taken as the trial is not yet complete.
The train is a locomotive-less one as it is a self-propelled on electric traction, like metro trains. The train now has to undergo what is called a long confirmatory run and also test its emergency braking distance before it gets a clearance from the Commissioner Railway Safety (CRS) for commercial operations to commence.
Features and facilities of the train
Officials said the train was conceived, designed and developed in about 18 months' time by the city-based Integral Coach Factory (ICF) as against the industry norm of about 3-4 years. The train has aerodynamically designed driver cabins at both ends for a quicker turnaround at destinations.
According to an ICF official, every alternative coach is motorised, to ensure even distribution of motive power and faster acceleration, deceleration. The train sports advanced regenerative braking system which saves power.
The fully air-conditioned train offers better passenger comfort and safety, as all equipment are fixed under the coach so that more space is available on board. In the executive class, the seats are rotatable to match the train direction.
Train 18 will have a modern look with continuous windows on the exterior and with a total seating capacity of 1,128. The train also boasts of Wi-Fi functionality and infotainment. The footsteps of the coach's doorway slide outward when the train halts at a station.
Train 18 is equipped with aircraft-like bio-vacuum toilets with efficient flushing system and health faucets. The bio-vacuum toilets are aimed at ensuring stink-free toilets.
On the safety front, Train Management System in the driver's cabin will ensure precise brake control and automated doors control. The coach doors will open only when the train touches zero kmph and the train will start only when all the coach doors are properly closed.
The train will have automated sliding steps until the platform avoiding the risk of a passenger falling. The driver can also monitor the movement of passengers on the platform via closed-circuit televisions (CCTVs) in his cabin before closing the door.
There are emergency talk-back units (through which passengers can talk to the crew in case of emergency) and CCTVs are provided in all coaches for safe and secure travel, officials had said earlier. The ICF is set to roll out six such trains.
With inputs from agencies
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Updated Date: Dec 03, 2018 14:57:49 IST