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News has it that India is soon to get a train that runs faster than the hallowed Shatabdi Express. As per reports, this will be India’s first-ever engineless train that falls under the category of semi-high speed trains. Nicknamed Train 18 based on the year of its inception, the train will run at a speed of 160 km/hr, and will replace the existing Delhi-Bhopal Shatadbi train. These are ‘self-propelled’ trains that work without engines. This is the same concept that is used to operate metro trains in cities in India currently, but has never been used as part of inter-city overnight trains run by the Indian Railways.
From what it seems, the rates of the fare would not change for passengers, but would save a lot of time. The existing Shatadbi train from Delhi-Bhopal takes about 8 hours. Train 18 would cut that by 3 hours, making the distance a total of 5 hours only. This will be AC train with executive chair and non-executive coaches, and many additional features and facilities such as automated door closing, wi-fi, information screens and it will be wheelchair friendly (good on the Indian railways).
In addition to Train 18, Indian Railways is also working on building another train called the Train 20, which would operate similarly, but would be the first train in India to be made out of aluminium, not steel and would have a sleeper class.
Train 18 has been on trials on various routes and its first route will run from Delhi to Varanasi. If all is on track, you could be travelling in India’s first engineless train by January 2019.
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