New Delhi: Train 18, India’s first engineless train, is set to be launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a week, after receiving clearance from the Electrical Inspector to the Government (EIG) following three days of inspection, sources in the ministry said on January 24. The Rs 100-crore train, which is manufactured by the Integral Coach Factory, hit speeds of over 180 kmph during a trial run on a section of the Delhi-Rajdhani route.
The launch of the Rs 100-crore train had been held up for more than a month even after finishing its trials and was given conditional clearance by the chief commissioner of Railway Safety. After the Railway Board gave its approval, despite objections from its rolling stock department, the train was sent for EIG inspection on Monday, the source said.
The Rolling Stock department, which designed and manufactured the train, had argued that there was no administrative or legal precedent to send the train for EIG inspection. The department added that it had already received certification from the Research Design and Standards Organisation.
Train18 built at a cost of Rs 97 cr
The 16-coach train, built in 18 months at a cost of ₹97 crore, will operate between Delhi and Varanasi, replacing Shatabdi trains. Indian Railways officials have said that the train can attain a top speed of 200 kilometres per hour if the tracks and signal system work in tandem.
The government is also looking to export Train 18-like train sets to countries in Southeast Asia, the Middle East, South America, North America and Europe, after having already attracted interest from many.