The Indian Railways is set to begin the commercial run of India’s fastest train, Train 18, before the commencement of Kumbh Mela on January 14. News agency PTI quoted sources as saying that the train will also be used to ferry delegates of Pravasi Bharatiya Divas on January 24 from Kumbh Mela in Allahabad to New Delhi for Republic Day event.
The news agency had earlier reported that Train 18 would run at a curtailed speed of 130 kmph. Notably, the train has a potential to run at a speed of up to 200 kmph.
However, a final date for the launch of the train is yet to be decided as the Indian Railways is awaiting a go-ahead from the Prime Minister’s Office for the same. The train is slated to be flagged off by Narendra Modi and would run between New Delhi and the Prime Minister’s Lok Sabha constituency Varanasi.
Union Railways Minister Piyush Goyal on Wednesday inspected rake of Train 18, but refrained from confirming a date for the launch. “It will begin service soon,” said Goyal.
A video of the trail run of Train 18 was recently shared on microblogging site Twitter by Union Railways Minister Piyush Goyal wherein the train was seen running at a speed of 180 kmph. The trial confirmed that Train 18 was the fastest train in india.
According to PTI, the Chief Commissioner Railway Safety (CCRS) has given the go-ahead to run the train at a maximum speed of 160 kmph but 20 conditions have been imposed, including fencing along the tracks. For maximum speed of 130 kmph, the CCRS has suggested fencing at vulnerable points to avoid any accident.
Facility and key features of Train 18
The fully air-conditioned train will have 16 chair-car type coaches out of which two will be executive chair cars and 14 non-executive chair cars. The executive chair can seat 56 passengers, while the non executive chairs will be able to accommodate 78 passengers.
The train with a Swanky interior and world-class facility boasts a host of passenger friendly amenities which include 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, halogen free rubber-on-rubber flooring, rotational seats which can be aligned in the direction of travel (available only in the executive class), roller blinds and diffused LED lighting, and disabled-friendly toilets.