India’s first engine-less train on track next week

Train 18, the country’s first engine-less train and possible successor to the 30-year old Shatabdi Express is set to hit the tracks for trials on October 29.

The swanky 16-coach prototype with no locomotive (engine) is driven by a self-propulsion module sans a separate locomotive and is capable of running at a speed of up to 160 kmph. It also comes with technical features for enhanced quick acceleration and will cut travel time by 15 per cent compared to the Shatabdi.

The cost of building this prototype came up to  nearly Rs 100 crore and subsequent production would cost less, according to  Sudhanshu Mani, general manager of the 
Integral Coach Factory, the company responsible for building the train.

Mani added, “It will be unveiled on October 29, then it will do three to four days of trial outside the factory and then will be handed over to Research Design and Standards Organisation (RDSO) for further trials.”

Here’s a better look at Train 18’s new, swanky interiors from Twitter users who got a peek.

The self-propelled train, fitted with CCTV cameras, is designed in such a way that passengers can have a look at the driver’s cabin. The full AC train is expected to have two executive compartments in the middle with 52 seats each and trailer coaches with 78 seats each. Other features include 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.

Train 18’s predecessor, Shatabdi Express was introduced in 1988 and presently runs on over 20 routes connecting metros with other important cities.