Complete Summary: India’s fastest ‘Train 18’ to be flagged off on 29 December

The fastest train from Indian Railways’ stable, ‘Train 18’ will be flagged off by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 29 December likely from Varanasi, sources said. The country’s first engineless train will replace Shatabdi trains and will run between Delhi and Varanasi, the sources said.

  • Train 18 recently became India’s fastest train by hitting speeds of over 180 kmph during trial-run on a section of the Delhi-Rajdhani route.
  • The train will start at 6 am from New Delhi station and is expected to reach Varanasi around at 2 pm, according to the tentative plan.
  • In the return journey, train will start at 2.30 pm from Varanasi and reach New Delhi at 10.30 pm on same day.
  • Railway Minister Piyush Goyal has recently asked ICF to build 4 more similar rakes in the present financial year.

Train 18 Gets CCRS clearance for commercial run

The Chief Commissioner of Railway Safety (CCRS) has given his clearance for the commercial run of India’s first ‘Train-18’, which recently had a successful trial run at speeds of up to 160 kmph. However, the CCRS, while giving the green signal for the launch of the ‘Train 18’, has also recommended the fencing of tracks at vulnerable locations to ensure safety.

    •  “Based on documents submitted, along with the application and inspection and speed trial, the case is being forwarded with recommendation for the sanction of central government for operation of Train-18 up to a maximum speed of 160 kmph on Indian Railways tracks,” CCRS S K Pathak has stated in his order dispatched to the Railway Board on December 21.
    • Taking note of the inspection of the train on December 19 at Safdarjung station in the capital and thereafter a speed trial between Safdarjung and Agra on December 20, the CCRS order has recommended certain precautionary measures like fencing and regular greasing of all the curves on the route.
    • The letter stated,“For speeds beyond 130 kmph and up to 160 kmph, the provision for sturdy fencing all along the track shall be ensured.”
    • The Train 18 is likely to be launched between Delhi and Varanasi on December 29.
    • “For 160 kmph, fencing is a must. But to begin with, Train-18 will be running at a maximum speed of 130 kmph like the Rajdhani service. Once the fencing work is complete, the speed will go up to 160 kmph,” a official said.
    • Rail fencing is essential for 160 kmph speeds to prevent trespassing of people or cattle on the tracks.
    • The Railways had already successfully conducted a speed trial of the Train-18 at the Moradabad and Kota sections.
    • During Trials, the train clocked 180 kmph between Kota and Kurlasi on December 2.

Time Line: 

Dec 02, 2018: ‘Train 18’ sets new speed record-

India’s first indigenously developed semi-high speed train, known as Train 18, breached the 180 kmph speed limit during a test run on 02.12.2018, a senior railway official said. Manufactured at Integral Coach Factory (ICF) in Chennai, when this Rs 100-crore train is made operational, it will become the country’s fastest train.

  • Sudhanshu Mani, General Manager of ICF, said,”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.”
  • Officials said that the Train 18 is capable of touching 200 kmph provided the rest of Indian Railways’ system such as tracks and signals permit.
  • On October 29, the high-tech, energy-efficient, self-propelled (engine-less) train was flagged off in Delhi by Railway Board Chairman Ashwani Lohani.

  • With 16 coaches, the train will have the same passenger carrying capacity as that of the Shatabdi Express.
  • It has aerodynamically designed driver cabins at both ends for quicker turn-around at destinations.
  • The train sports an advanced regenerative braking system which saves power.
  • Officials said that the fully air-conditioned train offers better passenger comfort and safety, as all equipment are fixed under the carriage, so that more space is available on board.

Nov 26 2018: ‘Train 18’ successfully runs at 115 kmph

On Nov 26 2018, the trial run of indigenously developed semi-high speed train ‘Train 18’ was successfully conducted up to 115 kmph on tracks in Moradabad division of Northern Railway, the RDSO (Research Designs and Standards Organisation) said.

“The Train 18 has successfully completed its running and performance trials up to the speed of 115 kmph on nominated track stretches in Moradabad division having defined track geometry parameters, curved alignments of specific radius and station yard zones,” M.Z. Khan Executive Director RDSO in a statement said.

The performance of the newly built train has been satisfactory and that the trials are progressing as per the schedule, he said.

Railways will be initiating the process for obtaining necessary approvals from the designated authorities for induction of the Train 18 into commercial service after completion of the trials in Kota division, he said.

Nov 18 2018: First Trial run conducted successfully

The first trial run of indigenously developed engineless train, the “Train 18” was successfully conducted on tracks at Moradabad-Rampur section of Northern Railways on Nov 18 2018. During the trial run, the train was made to run at different speeds and its breaking was also checked.

Train 18” was first scheduled to set-in-motion on Moradabad-Bareilly section for the first trial. However, due to some blockade on the stretch, the authorities took the decision to change the trial track at the eleventh hour. The train was made to run at 3 different speeds of 30 kmph, 50 kmph and 60 Kmph respectively, according to Railways.

The maximum speed of the “Train 18” is 220 Kmph.

Assistant Operations Manager (AOM), Coaching, DP Singh said,”The train was tested at different speeds during the trial run. An eye was also kept on the functioning of its breaks apart from other parameters over which the train was tested.” During its trial run members of various dedicated teams were present.

RDSO (Research Design and Standards Organisation) also created a working desk inside the train to keep a vigil on train speed, jerking and other features, according to officials.

Train 18 – “Made In India” Semi-High Speed Train

Being developed at the Integral Coach Factory (ICF) in Chennai “Train 18” , the country’s first engine-less train with a seating capacity of 1128 passengers in 16 coaches/chair cars, comes with super-comfortable seating, automatic doors, vacuum toilets, space for wheelchairs & disabled friendly restrooms.

These trains will have loco pilot cabins on both ends. This will prevent the need to reverse the locomotive which will save time. As these are EMU train sets, the time and distance taken to accelerate and decelerate will reduce, enabling the train to travel at top speed for more distance. Each coach will be fitted with traction motor so the train will be self propelled.

The rake of Train 18 will have 16 coaches consisting of 2 Executive Chair Cars and 14 AC Chair Cars. 

History :

It has been the endeavor of Indian Railways to improve the quality of travel for every customer and in this direction the Tejas, Humsafar, Antyodaya and Deen Dayalu coaches have been put into service. Indian Railways plans to turn out state of the art Train18 train sets which will revolutionize rail travel.

A train-set as the name suggests is a self propelled train like the EMU and DEMU stock in service today. It has the inherent advantage of faster acceleration and turn around as compared to a conventional train since no reversal of locomotive is required as there is a driving cab at either end. This initiative by team ICF in the high speed travel will improve passenger satisfaction and help Indian Railways reclaim its modal share in the passenger segment.

Technology :

Driven by a self-propulsion module sans a separate locomotive, the semi-high speed train, comes with technical features for enhanced quick acceleration.

Train 18 will be capable of speeds of upto 160 kmph equivalent of the Gatiman express the only semi-high speed train being run today. The propulsion system will be under slung and all coaches will be inter-connected with fully sealed gangways. This will be run in a 16 car formation consisting of four sets of four cars each. Each electrically powered set will consist of a driving trailer car (DTC), a motor car (MC),a trailer car(TC) and another motor car.

In a configuration of 16 coaches there will be eight motor coaches and this shall ensure faster acceleration. The driving coaches will have a seating capacity of about 44 whereas the trailer coaches will seat 78. The first class executive class shall have 56 seats.

The FRP based aerodynamic profile will ensure energy efficiency. The bogies will have fully suspended traction motors and wheel mounted disc brakes. The train will be very safe with centralized electro-pneumatic brake system with bogie control. The coaches and toilets will have space for wheelchair and access for persons with reduced mobility (PRM).

ICF has developed this technology with the help of European partners. It has a potential to travel up to the speed at 160 kmph as against 130 kmph of Shatabdi and would result in the travel time being reduced by around 15% once the tracks are fit to suit Train 18’s speed.

Features  :

The Train-18 have features 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
  • Rotational seats which can be aligned in the direction of travel (available only in the executive class)
  • Roller blinds
  • diffused LED lighting
  • Disabled-friendly toilets

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.

About Integral Coach Factory (ICF), Chennai

Integral Coach Factory is a premier Production Unit of Indian Railways manufacturing railway passenger coaches. ICF is versatile in manufacturing coaches for main line, suburban, metro, self propelled, luxury, special purpose coaches like Emission Test Car, accident relief train etc.

ICF is World’s No.1 coach manufacturer in terms of quantity and varieties of coaches made so far with over 55000 coaches in more than 500 variants passing through the portals of ICF. ICF’s USP covers design, development, manufacture and design validation of various types of coaches for Indian Railways, non-Railway customers and for export.

Today, the coach factory produces more than 2500 coaches of more than 50 variants in a year. ICF has started manufacturing stainless steel coaches in a big way. Coaches for Kolkata Metro, DEMU and EMU train sets are also made out of stainless steel. ICF has also been foraying into exports and adoption of cutting edge technology.

ICF has exported large number of coaches to Afro-Asian countries, including Diesel Electrical Multiple Units recently to Sri Lanka. Self propelled Diesel Train sets and Electric Train sets with 3-phase state-of-the-art technology are currently under manufacture.

All Image Credit: ICF