Indian Railway is set to usher in a new era. The Government of India has undertaken active measures to revive the crumbling infrastructure of Indian railways and curate a world class experience.
The Ministry of Railways announced plans to invest Rs.905,000 crore (US$126 billion) by 2020, to upgrade the railways. In the meantime, the Indian Railways’ Research Design and Standards Organisation is involved in executing research and design work for the upgradation and transformation.
India’s first engine-less train for inter-city travel, Train 18, is a stepping stone in this direction. The world class train is being manufactured at ICF (Integral Coach Factory) in Chennai, using 80% indigenous components. It is a 100% ‘Make in India’ initiative and will be manufactured in a record time of 18 to 20 months.
The 18-coach train, with a semi-high speed 160 kmph, has the following design, technology and amenity features making it future ready:
- The tastefully built train is expected to be sleek and swanky, equipped with exceptional interiors.
- It will have a host of amenities such as super-comfortable seating, concealed roller blinds and spacious luggage rack.
- The train will be equipped with on board Wi-Fi and GPS-based Passenger Information System, for a smooth, safe and productive ride.
- The train will have continuous windows for a better viewing experience.
- Diffused, energy-efficient LED lighting and halogen-free rubber-on-rubber flooring are also a part of the train’s design.
- For enhanced sanitation, these trains will have zero discharge bio-vacuum toilets, with touch-free bathroom fittings, vacuum space for wheel chairs and disabled friendly restrooms.
- Plans are afoot to make special arrangements for accommodating wheel chairs and providing access in coaches.
- The train promises under-slung 3-phase propulsion system and jerk-free riding.
- The train will have driving cabs at both ends with less acceleration and deceleration time, drastically reducing turnaround time and increasing travel time between two points.
- Automatic sliding footsteps in the doorways will reduce onboarding and off boarding issues and help passengers alight safely and comfortably.
- Aerodynamic front-end is another new technology being introduced for the first time.
The future train of India, is almost complete. The technological dream has a seating capacity for 1,128 passengers. The cost of manufacturing Train 18 under the Make in India movement, is around Rs. 6 crores. This is 60% cheaper than the global cost of similar trains. ICF plans to manufacture two sets of Train 18 initially and six after testing the prototype. Train 18 will change the face of Indian railways.