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    Labourers work at the installation site of a new railway track on the outskirts of Agartala, capital of India's northeastern state of Tripura February 25, 2015

    PM Modi to Flag Off India's First Engineless Train

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    India's first engineless train is slated to run between Delhi and Varanasi. Named "Train 18", it will be flagged off by PM Narendra Modi on 29 December.

    Manufactured by the Integral Coach Factory (ICF) of Indian Railways in Chennai, the engineless Train 18 is the fastest Indian train, which has hit speeds of over 189 kilometres per hours during test runs. An official from Indian Railways, who did not wish to be named, told Sputnik that the train is likely to be flagged off by PM Narendra Modi on 29 December on the Delhi-Varanasi route. Varanasi is the Lok Sabha (India's lower house of parliament) constituency of Mr Modi.

    Although the venue of the flag-off is yet to be decided, Train 18 will usher in a new generation of trains in India some 30 years after the first Shatabdi Express was introduced on the Delhi-Bhopal route. Being engineless, Train 18 will be powered by an underslung propulsion system. It will have automatic doors with sliding footsteps. Being tested at 180+ kilometre per hour speeds, the running speed of the train will at first be limited to 160 kilometres per hour.

    READ MORE: India Testing New Devise to Avert Jumbos From Being Run Over by Speeding Trains

    The handicap-friendly Train 18 series will ultimately replace the aging Shatabdi fleet of trains. It will have modular bio-vacuum toilets, personalized reading lights, rotation seats in some classes, etc.


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