CHENNAI: In yet another milestone in passenger train manufacturing, the Integral Coach Factory (ICF) in Chennai has built the prototype of a push-pull rake with engines on both ends designed to run at 130 kmph with 22 non-AC coaches.
The train, yet to be given an official name, is expected to be introduced on long-distance routes for mass transportation of both reserved and unreserved passengers. The train is aimed at providing Vande Bharat-like travelling experience to non-AC passengers, particularly interstate workers, sources said.
Marking the completion of the manufacturing of the train, a 22-car rake carried out speed trials between Villivakkam and Arakkonam on Thursday. The existing LHB coaches, which are in use for operating express trains, are cleared to run at 130 kmph. But when pulling more than 20 non-AC LHB coaches, they create significant noise and operational difficulties, official sources said.
“The newly designed push-pull rake will power the train from both ends and is capable of carrying 22 coaches at 130 kmph without making much noise. The rake comprises 12 three-tier sleeper coaches and eight second-sitting coaches, all linked with semi-permanent couplers to provide a jerk-free experience unlike LHB coaches,” an official said.
The prototype will undergo testing and trial runs over the next few months. The Research Design and Standards Organisation (RDSO), the technical body of the railways, will study the train.
“Once RDSO approves the train, the rake will be introduced in sections where there is high demand,” the official said.
The rake is equipped with WAP 5 locomotives that are used to operate high-speed trains on both ends in a push-pull configuration. The rake is also provided with zero discharge fibre-reinforced plastic (FRP) modular toilets and an aerosol-based fire suppression system in toilets and electrical cubicles for the safety of passengers.
ICF has received orders from the railway board to produce two sets of push-pull rakes.