Equipped driver cabins at both ends, entry and exits from stations to be faster
The image of a train slowly chugging into a station is the first thing that comes to the mind when one thinks of the Indian Railways. This image will soon be a thing of the past thanks to the Integral Coach Factory (ICF) that is in the process of manufacturing new, engine-less ‘trainsets’ — a rake without a separate locomotive — known as Train 18. These will speed up entry and exits from stations and reduce travel time.
In the Union Budget, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced that modern trainsets with state-of-the-art amenities and features are being designed at the ICF in Perambur and the first such set will be commissioned this fiscal.
Sources from the ICF said that in the new trainsets, the locomotive will be replaced with driver cabins at either end of the train. They will travel at 160 kms per hour, which is known as semi-high speed in railway parlance.
“These are made in India, self-propelled, best-in-class trainsets for Indian Railways. The conventional train with an engines will have to slow down when it enters the platform. It also accelerates slowly. Due to this, a lot of time is wasted in every station,” said a ICF source.
The new trains will be like EMUs. “The main advantage of such trains is that they can accelerate and reduce speed quickly. This way at least 10 minutes are saved per station and the total travel time will drop by at least five hours,” said the source.
However, such trains will only have chair cars. “It is in the initial stages and the train is expected to be rolled out by June this year. The Railway Board will decide on where the trains will be rolled out first,” the official said.