The Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi will inaugurate India’s first engineless train “Vande Bharat Express” on the 15th of February.
The train previously dubbed as Train 18 was manufactured at the Integral coach factory (ICF), Chennai. It became India’s fastest train during the trial run touching a speed of 180 kilometers/hour on the section between Delhi-Rajdhani.
The 16 coach train will replace the 30 year old Shatabdi Express.
Salient Features of Train 18 a.k.a Vande Bharat Express –
- Each coach has motors fixed beneath making engineless.
- Reduce travel time by 15% when compared to Shatabdi.
- Internet connectivity through onboard WiFi systems.
- GPS based passenger information system.
- Touch free bio vacuum toilets.
- Automatic climate control and temperature adjust system.
- 360 degree rotating seats to match moving direction of the train.
- Regenerative brakes on train save 30% electricity costs when compared to Shatabdi.
The train 18 was manufactured at a cost of INR₹ 100 crore, making it the cheapest train opeartional at this scale. Some nations have shown interests in importing Train 18 due to lower costs.
Looking at the response the Indian railways has ordered 5 more trains from the manufacturing plant in Chennai. At least one more unit will be made available by March 2019.
The company is working on another faster model called Train 20 which will run 25% faster than Train 18. ICF is also looking to include sleeper units for night rides.