India’s first indigenously manufactured semi high-speed train capable of speeds of 160 km per hour will be rolled out in June. The train will be self-propelled on electric traction like the metro and won’t require a locomotive to pull it.
Apart from the high speed, the train can accelerate quickly, helping to cut travel time. It is set to be deployed in place of one of the premium Shatabdi Express trains. The 16-coach train, which will have chair-car seating and all modern facilities, will cost about Rs 100 crore.
Each coach costs Rs 6 crore and is about 40% cheaper than European coaches of similar design. The Indian Railways-owned Integral Coach Factory in Chennai is manufacturing the train. “This will be the first ever semihigh-speed train that is being manufactured by Indian Railways on its own. The train set would be able to run at the speed of 160 km per hour, making it the fastest in the country,” said Sudhanshu Mani, ICF General Manager.
If successful, these trains will gradually replace all Shatabdi trains, Mani said, adding that its seating would be more spacious. ICF, one of the leading coach manufacturers for the Indian Railways, is now moving towards making high-end train sets under the government’s ‘Make in India’ initiative. “We’ll be producing a record number of 2,500 rail coaches including 1,100 LHB coaches this year, which will be the highest ever for the ICF facility,” Mani said. LHB coaches are new-generation passenger type coaches developed by Linke-Hofmann-Busch of Germany.
The factory now plans to manufacture light body aluminium trains based on European standards. “The aluminium train set is likely to roll out in 2020 and it will be much more energy-efficient and will follow the European standards and will be kind of a leapfrog for rail technology in India,” Mani added.