Monday, September 27

Engineless Train-18 may link Howrah and Delhi

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A high-speed train journey between Howrah and New Delhi is in the offing with Indian Railways planning to introduce a Train-18 trainset on this route.

The train, the first of its kind in Indian Railways, is expected to roll out of Integral Coach Factory (ICF), Chennai on Monday. It will be introduced after necessary trials. Later, a similar trainset will be introduced on the Howrah-New Delhi route, Rajesh Agrawal, member/rolling stock, Railway Board, said in Kolkata on Sunday.

Capable of running at 160km per hour, the engineless train will cover the nearly 1,400km journey between Howrah and New Delhi in approximately 12 hours. The Rajdhani Express takes 16 hours to cover the distance.

Train-18 is much like an electric multiple unit (EMU) rake though much sleeker and more luxurious. As all coaches have traction and the wheels start rolling by themselves when the loco-pilot sets the train in motion, creating greater acceleration. Brakes can also be applied more easily, making the trains safer than conventional ones.

The semi-high speed train, with 16 air-conditioned coaches, will undergo short runs near ICF for five days to test its braking and air-conditioning systems and familiarize the crew with the on-board systems before being moved to New Delhi.

Train-18 will then undergo speed trials of 150 km/hr in the Moradabad-Bareilly section before shifting to the Kota-Sawai Madhopur stretch for final trials at 160 km/hr. All tests will be monitored by a special team from the Research Designs and Standards Organisation (RDSO). The first trainset has only seating arrangements, but orders have been placed with ICF for two with berths. ICF is building six such trainsets. According to Agrawal, the next series will be called Train-20 and will be capable of achieving 200 km/hr.

The first train has several imported components that gives it special features. Of the 16 coaches, two will be executive class with 52 seats each. The remaining will have 78 seats each. The plush seats can be swivelled towards the direction in which the train is moving.

In the executive class, they can also be moved to face the windows, which are continuous. All doors are sliding and coaches have vacuum toilets like on aeroplanes. Onboard infotainment and continuous Wi-Fi have also been planned.

On the issue of new rakes for the Metro Railway, Agrawal said: “Four rakes from ICF have already undergone trials and clearance is now awaited. The Metro will introduce them very soon. Other rakes have also been ordered. As soon as they arrive, the existing ones will be replaced.”

Source: Times of India

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