CHENNAI: With the commercial launch of Train 18 on the Delhi-Varanasi route soon, the Indian Railways has decided to produce ten rakes for 2019-20. To this effect, two weeks ago, the Railway Board has granted an approval to Integral Coach Factory (ICF) as against the approved annual schedule of five rakes.
Confirming the development, Shubhransu, Principal Chief Mechanical Engineer, ICF, told Express that the coach manufacturing unit was completely geared up to produce 10 Train-18 rakes before March 2020. “While the first set is going to be introduced soon, the second rake will be rolled out by next month,” added Shubhransu. In addition to this, the ICF is planning to roll out 10 rakes before March 2020. “Beyond March 2020, we will be able to produce one rake of Train 18 every month,” said Shubhransu.
The decision to double the Train 18 production was taken by the Railway Board after the first rake rolled out by ICF, cleared all the mandatory safety and speed tests. During the speed tests, the semi high-speed train surpassed the 180 kmph speed, the highest speed of any train in India.
The self-propelled chair car train set, which will run without locomotive, was manufactured using 80 per cent of indigenous materials under ‘Make in India’ programme. It is learnt from multiple railway sources that ICF has recommended to the Railway Board to allocate the second or third rake to Southern Railway to replace the Chennai - Mysuru Shatabdi Express.
“The third rake of Train 18 which is expected to be rolled out by September or October is likely to get allotted to Southern Railway for operating in Chennai - Mysuru section,” said a highly placed railway official.