Even as the government is yet to approve the debut of commercial operation of the ambitious "Train 18" between Varanasi and Delhi, the Indian Railways is planning its entry into the global market for coaches and wagons. PTI reported citing senior railway officials that Peru, Malaysia, Singapore and some countries in the Middle East have shown interest in importing the Railways' state-of-the-art Train 18.
It is India's first indigenously built engine-less train and is meant for intra-day travel. In the last week of December railway minister Piyush Goyal said that Train 18 can cut down travel time by 10 to 15 percent compared to the Shatabdi and is now the fastest train in India.
Need for Speed: Train 18 seen cruising at a sustained 180Km/h, officially becoming the fastest train in India pic.twitter.com/2VNF1U3qrl— Piyush Goyal (@PiyushGoyal) 26 December 2018
The railway board is presently eyeing on markets like the currently stalled Singapore-Kuala Lumpur High-Speed Rail (HSR) project where Train 18 would be a more economically viable option than the HSR.
The PTI report said that while a train set of the standard of Train 18 will cost Rs 250 crore worldwide, the Chennai-based Integral Coach Factory (ICF) that developed the new invention can produce it at a cost of Rs 100 crore only.
With this project, India has entered the semi-high speed club and will be hosting the International High-Speed Rail Association (IHRA) conference this February.
The semi-high speed fully air-conditioned Train-18 can travel at the speed of 180km/h. It will replace the present Shatabdi Express and the ICF plans to roll out one more of these in the current fiscal year and four in the next.