So after dozens of mock trials, the much-famed Train 18 has had a successful trial on the standard rail tracks. Touted to be India’s semi-bullet train, the new train, designated to serve rail services like Shatabdi Express etc., breached the speed barrier of 180 kmph without any hassles, making it India’s fastest train ever.
Railways Minister, Shri Piyush Goyal, couldn’t hide his happiness as he tweeted :
जोर स्पीड का झटका धीरे से लगा: Train 18 exceeds 180kmph during trial. The stability of water bottles at this speed is testament to the quality of workmanship and design of our engineers pic.twitter.com/CImC49ljgm
— Piyush Goyal (@PiyushGoyal) December 2, 2018
For those unaware, Train 18 is India’s first indigenously built engine less train, i.e. one which wouldn’t require any locomotive. The General Manager of the Integral Coach Factory, which specializes in building such trains is hoping that the Train 18 will have its first commercial run within a month, i.e. January 2019.
To quote S Mani, the General Manager, “Train 18 breached the 180 kmph speed limit in the Kota-Sawai Madhopur section. The major trials are now over with just some more remaining. Based on the reports fine tuning would be done if needed. As of now, no major technical problem has cropped up. We expect Train 18 to commence its commercial run from January 2019. Normally the trials take three months. But now it is happening faster than expected.”
When asked about rolling out a sleeper version of the same, S Mani replied in the affirmative, “We can roll out sleeper coaches as well. No major modifications to the train would be needed for that. The ICF will roll out one more Train 18 this fiscal and four by the next fiscal.”
Touted as a successor to the likes of Shatabdi Express, Train 18 is aimed to reduce not only travel time, but also give a new level of comfort to the Indian passengers, who have consistently demanded better quality services from Indian Railways. Following are some of its impressive features :
- Self-propelled train
- Normal speed of 130 km. / hr., which can rise to a potential speed of 180+, even 200 km. / hr. if the traffic signals permit
- AC Chair Car type coaches
- 360-degree rotating seats
- Diffused lighting, automatic doors, and footsteps
- GPS based Passenger Information System etc.
The train had its recent test run on a standard railway track, and when the speed broke the barrier of 180 km. / hr., the train remained stable, which could be reflected from the fact that the small water bottles kept on the table didn’t fall from the impact of high speed, as reflected in this video, broadcasted by All India Radio News on Twitter :
India's 1st locomotive-less train known as #Train18 breached the 180 kilo-meter per-hour speed limit during a test run yesterday. General Manager of Integral Coach Factory expressed hope that 'Train 18' will commence its commercial run from January next year. @RailMinIndia pic.twitter.com/Ewezy5sd66
— All India Radio News (@airnewsalerts) December 3, 2018
This is another major victory for Ministry of Railways under Piyush Goyal, who are consistently seeing to it that the service to passengers is top notch and without delay. Recently, the e Drishti software was launched that would help the Rail Minister keep a track of the punctuality of the trains.
If this continues to proceed at the same rate, a time will come when Indian Railways will soon be at par with Japanese and European rail services in terms of efficient speed and better quality. For this, we shall have only two people to thank for: Piyush Goyal, and his able predecessor, Suresh Prabhu.