India’s long wait for world-class fast trains may end this year only. As per news agency IANS report, Indian railways plans to launch country’s fastest rail — Train 18 — by the end of this year on December 25. The train service is likely to be launched between New Delhi and Varanasi.
“Christmas Day also happens to be the birthday of late Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and it would be a tribute to the great statesman if we manage to launch the next-generation train on that day,” reported the agency citing a senior railway official.
Since the input cost of the Rs. 100-crore train is high, the fare structure will be also be higher than the normal fare, said the report.
However, the official added that the decision on its launch date and fare were yet to be taken as the trial was not yet complete. According to the tentative plan, the train will start from New Delhi station at 6 am and is expected to reach Varanasi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s parliamentary constituency, at 2 pm. For the return journey, the train will start at 2.30 pm, from Varanasi and reach the national capital at 10.30 pm.
Speed of Train 18
Train 18 crossed the 180 kmph speed limit during the test run. Although the speed touched 180 kmph during Sunday’s trial run, the Train 18 will only be allowed to run at a maximum speed of 160 kmph in its commercial operations.
Features of Train 18
Train 18 is a full-AC train with 16 coaches and is designed in such a way that passengers can have a look at the driver’s cabin.
Train 18 also has some features to enhance passengers’ comfort, including inter-connected fully-sealed gangways, automatic doors with retractable footsteps, onboard Wi-Fi and infotainment, GPS-based passenger information system, modular toilets with bio-vacuum systems, roller blinds and diffused LED lighting, and disabled-friendly toilets.