New Delhi: India’s first engine-less semi-high speed train – “Train 18” – will go on a trial run on the Bareilly-Moradabad section in Uttar Pradesh on Saturday. The Rs 100 crore engine-less train, developed by the Integral Coach Factory (ICF), is regarded as a successor to the prestigious Shatabdi Express. The trials will be next conducted between Kota and Sawai Modhopur.

The train was unveiled by Railway Board Chairman Ashwani Lohani on October 29. The fully air-conditioned train, driven by a self-propulsion module, had the potential to become the country’s fastest train provided the infrastructure was bettered, Lohani had said.

Five more units of the train would be produced by the ICF by the end of the 2019-20 production year, which is the same as the financial year. The swanky 16-coach train will cut journey time by 15 per cent compared to the 30-year old Shatabdi.

 “It is a matter of pride that India has made such a train for the first time and that too ICF has done it within 18 months,” Lohani had told to reporters.

Train-18 has two driving trailer coaches with aerodynamic driver’s cab (nose cone) on both the ends which will enable quicker turn-around time at destinations. Every alternative coach is motorized, to ensure even distribution of power and faster acceleration/deceleration.

The train is designed in such a way that passengers can have a look at the driver’s cabin. Fitted with CCTV cameras, Train 18 would have two executive compartments in the middle with 52 seats each, whereas trailer coaches would have 78 seats each.

It has diffused lighting, automatic doors and footsteps beside GPS-based Passenger Information System.

The footstep in a coach’s doorway slides outward when the train stops at a station enabling passengers to alight safely with comfort in view of the variation in height between a train’s floor and the platform.

Shatabdi was introduced in 1988 and is presently running on over 20 routes connecting metros with other important cities.

With Train 18 already set to go for trials, the railways will now turn its focus on another project – Train 20 – the next generation aluminium-bodied sleeper class trains that will replace the Rajdhani Express trains on the network and is expected to be rolled out by 2020.

(With PTI inputs)