India’s fastest train Train-18 is all set to hit the tracks early next year. The train has been designed to run between Delhi and Varanasi, and the first test trial has already been conducted. T-18 is an engine-less, self-propelled ‘Made in India’ train that reached 180 kmph mark during the trial run.

It is being said that this train will run faster than the popular Shatabdi Express that runs between Delhi and Bhopal. Train 18 is India’s first-ever engineless train to fall under the category of semi-high speed trains. It is being called Train 18 based on its year of inception. The concept of having no engine is the same concept that is used to operate metro trains in cities in India currently. But it is the first time the technology is being used as a part of inter-city overnight trains run by the Indian Railways.

From what it seems, since the input cost is high, it’s likely that the fare will also be higher than the normal rates. However, it will drastically reduce the commute time.  The existing Shatadbi train from Delhi-Bhopal takes about 8 hours; Train 18 will cut that by 3 hours, making it a total distance of 5 hours only. This 16-coach train will have two executive compartments with 52 seats each and trailer coaches with 78 seats each. There will be AC and many additional features and facilities such as automated door closing, wi-fi, information screens and will be wheelchair friendly.

In addition to Train 18, Indian Railways is also working on building another train called Train 20, which would operate similarly, but would be the first in India to be made out of aluminium, and not steel and would have a sleeper class. Train 18 has successfully completed its trials and if all goes well, you could be travelling from Delhi to Varanasi in India’s first engineless train in January 2019.