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Goodbye, Shatabdi? Railways prepares to replace them with semi-high-speed trains

New Delhi: Indian Railways is mulling to replace its high-speed premium train Shatabdi Express with its first semi-high speed train, manufactured under the government’s ‘Make In India’ initiative.

This semi-high speed train has been named – Train 18 – on the year it’s being manufactured.

The train will run on the tracks reportedly in June this year. In the beginning, the train will be launched as an inter-city travel train.

Equipped with world-class amenities, Train 18 will run at the speed of 160km/hour. Train 18 is being made at the ICF (Integral Coach Factory) in Chennai.

Apart from the state-of-the-art technology, the train will comprise 16 fully air-conditioned chair car coaches with both executive and non-executive configurations.

Toilets on the train will be zero-discharge vacuum toilets, and the entire train will be inter-connected with a sealed vestibule gangway.

The Indian Railways claims that Train 18 will be manufactured at half the cost of a similar train being imported to India.

The new coaches will be modelled on the Linke Hoffman Busch (LHB) coaches with a stainless steel body and continuous windows.

It will feature automatic doors and a sliding step which will come out when the door opens.

Unlike existing trains, it will not be a locomotive-hauled train but a self-propelled trainset with cabins at either end that will allow easy reversal at terminal stations along with faster acceleration and an overall reduced travel time.

With an aim to improve train passenger experience on its premium Rajdhani and Shatabdi trains, Indian Railways last year decided to upgrade its trains with enhanced features.

Keeping this in view, new ‘Swarna’ coaches of the Rajdhani Express with facilities such as ‘auto janitor’ system in toilets and LED lighting were unveiled by the Railway Ministry at New Delhi Station.

This was part of the railways’ efforts to overhaul old and damaged coaches of all trains, starting with premium trains.

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