Update: Train 18 to serve more destinations

Published: June 27, 2019

Train 18 will ply more routes and serve more destinations. Central Railway’s First Train 18 will shuttle between Mumbai and Shirdi. Mumbai and Shirdi are located at a distance of 291 kilometers and current trains take over 9 hours to complete the journey. The new Train 18 will reduce the travel time to just 3 hours.

Train 18: Important Facts for Exam

  • Train 18, more commonly referred to as the Vande Bharat Express, is India’s indigenously manufactured semi-high speed train.
  • It is powered by electricity and is manufactured at the Integral Coach Factory (ICF), Chennai.
  • Fully occupied, the train can “seat” 1,128 passengers. While the train has reached a maximum high speed of 180 km/hr, it can operate economically at 130 km/hr and is currently the fastest train in India.
  • Train 18 is a major success of PM Modi’s Make in India project. The first Train 18 service started between New Delhi and Varanasi. Buoyed by its success, The Indian Railways has ordered 10 more train sets (160+ coaches) to be made operational by March 2020 which will serve on various routes.
  • A sleeper version, Train 19 is also under development.

Other Fast Trains of India

Before the introduction of the Train 18 and before that the Gatimaan Express, the top spot for the fastest trains was held by the Bhopal Shatabdi Express and the Mumbai Rajdhani Express. Both these trains had a maximum speed of 120-130 km/h though the actual operating speed is much lower. Gatimaan Express is India’s first high-speed train, currently operating between Delhi and Jhansi. While it has a maximum speed of 160 km/hr, on its journey the average speed maintained by the train is between 90-94 km/hr.

Quick Facts: Make In India – Railways

While “Make In India” has not picked up that much traction in other industries, Railways, in particular, have capitalized on this opportunity to upgrade their aging infrastructure and equipment. Another effort made under Make in India apart from Train 18 is the development of a new regenerative braking system for electric locomotives by Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL). Mainly, the regenerative technology in brakes minimizes the loss of heat energy when the brakes are applied and returns the energy back to the electric lines. This reduces operating costs and wear & tear of the tracks/wheels.

In a major success for the Make in India project, Train 18 has been sought by many foreign countries. However, the exports will only begin once domestic requirements are met.