The Train 18 is set to hit the Indian railway tracks and it will replace the existing train fleet of the Shatabdi Express, which was introduced back in 1988. The Railway ministry officials said that the ICF will make six such train sets, out of which two will have sleeper coaches. The new train will not run on engine, it will be self propelled on electric traction like the metro trains. “Train 18 will require very less maintenance compared to the locomotive-hauled Shatabdi Express train due to to its 3-phase propulsion system and new generation bogies,” the official said. “The weight of Train 18 is also considerably less since no locomotives or powercars are required. The net energy required is less,” the official added.
The new train comes equipped with some features to enhance passenger comfort which include inter-connected fully sealed gangways, automatic doors with retractable footsteps, onboard Wi-Fi and infotainment, GPS-based passenger information system, modular toilets with bio-vacuum systems, improved centre couplers to reduce jerk impact, electro – pneumatic brake system with brake discs mounted directly on wheel discs to reduce the braking distance, all coaches are AC chair car type, continuous window glasses for contemporary look and roller blinds and diffused LED lighting. Besides that the Train 18 features halogen free rubber on rubber flooring, space for wheel chair, modular luggage rack with glass bottom, rotating seats which can be alligned in the direction of travel for the executive class and accessible toilet for disabled persons.
The ICF official reported that with Train 18 the travel time will come down by at least 15% compared to Shatabdi. The Train 18 will require only 7 hours 10 minutes to travel from Delhi to Habibganj which is 75 minutes less than time taken by Shatabdi Express, which takes 8 hours 25 minutes. “Train 18 has a speed potential of 160 kmph and 0.8 m/sec2 acceleration against 130 kmph maximum speed and 0.4 m/sec2 acceleration for Shatabdi trains. This will reduce journey time by 15% on existing track which is fit for 130 kmph. If the track is fit for 160 kmph, the journey time will reduce further,” the official told Financial Express Online.
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