Train 18

Train 18, an indigenously developed semi-high speed train, has officially became the first train in India to cruise at a sustained speed of 180 km per hour making it the fastest train in the country, railway minister Piyush Goyal announced through a tweet.

The chief commissioner of railway safety has given the go ahead for the train to run at a maximum speed of 160 kmph with certain conditions paving the way for its commercial operation. The conditions include providing “sturdy fencing” all along the track to avoid any mishap.

The CCRS in its communication to the railway board has said, “Railway shall ensure provision of sturdy fencing at vulnerable location on need basis for operation up to 130 kmph. For speed beyond 130 kph and upto 160 kmph, provision of sturdy fencing all along the track shall be ensured.” It has laid down 21 conditions that the railways must comply with to run at maximum speed of up to 160 kmph.

The clearance from CCRS is a pre-requisite for any train with new technology to start service. Railway ministry sources said the train speed can also go up where the track codition is superior. Tweeting a video clip of the train, Goyal said, “Need for Speed: Train 18 seen cruising at a sustained 180Km/h, officially becoming the fastest train in India.”

The first such train manufactured in India at a cost of approximately Rs.100 crore is scheduled to ply between Delhi and Varanasi via Allahabad. PM Narendra Modi will flag off the train and the date of starting the service has not yet been decided.

The CCRS has put the conditions while giving go ahead for the train operation after it recently carried out inspection of the new 16-coach train during speed trial between Safdarjung railway station and Agra. The train is fully air-conditioned and has modern amenities to make the travel comfortable and safe. The train can accommodate 1,128 passengers.

It has new features such as automatic doors with sliding footsteps, fully sealed gangways and disabled-friendly toilets and spaces.

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