Engineless, Semi-Bullet Train To Link Delhi With Varanasi
The recently launched semi-bullet train, Train-18 is now officially India's first train to cruise at the sustained speed of 180km per hour, railway minister Piyush Goyal announced in a tweet on December 26. However, the chief commissioner of railway safety has given the go-ahead for the train to run at maximum speed of 160km per hour as the sturdy fencing is required along the track to avoid any mishap. Train 18 will run between Delhi and Varanasi and will be put on long route later.
The launch of these trains was earlier scheduled for July this, however, the plan was delayed due to safety clearance and internal trials. The new fleet is also likely to replace the existing Shatabdi Express trains. Train 18 has been developed under the Indian Railways’ Mission Raftaar which aims to increase the average train speed to 160-km per hour on the 9,000-km main trunk routes across the country.
The new train will be similar to an electric multiple unit (EMU) rake but with more luxury on board. It will have more effective brakes, making it safer than the conventional trains. Sixteen air-conditioned coaches with seamless Wi-fi connectivity and onboard infotainment, the passengers will be able to travel in leisure. The executive coaches of the train will have 52 seats while the remaining will have 78 seats. With sliding doors and vacuum-controlled toilets, diffused-LED lighting, roller blinds and rotational seats with alignment feature in the direction of travel, this will be a ‘semi-bullet’ train model.
At present, Train 18 has successfully completed performance trial at a speed of 115-km per hour. For speed trails at 160-km per hour, the new train will move from Delhi to different stretches across the country. Once the new set is given the required approvals, the Indian Railways plans to build an upgrade called the Train-20. The new version will have the capability to run at a speed of 200-km per hour.
Also, at present, 70 per cent of the Delhi-Howrah route is equipped to handle maximum train speed of 130-km per hour which will be upgraded before rakes come in use.