India’s 1st Engineless Train Will Replace Shatabdi Express; In-Flight Calls From October!
Engineless trains have been hailed as a major tech breakthrough for Indian railways
Two major transportation updates have come in, which have the power to introduce a massive transformation.
Indian Railways will soon start a trial run of India’s 1st engineless train, and hold your breath.. It will replace the ever-dependable Shatabdi Express!
Meanwhile Department of Telecom or DoT has indicated that starting October, air passengers will be able to make calls inside their flight, up above 35,000 feet amongst the clouds.
2018 looks exciting for the travelers!
Welcome to Train18: India’s 1st Engineless Train
Codenamed as Train18, this is India’s first engineless train.
A semi-high speed train, this will start its trial runs from September onwards.
As per Ashwani Lohani, Chairman of Railway Board, the train will soon replace Shatabdi Express, and the first trial will be held between New Delhi and Bhopal, which right now runs the fastest Shatabdi route.
Train18 will run at 160 km/hr, without an engine.
He said, “Coaches of Train 18 will be able to take speeds of 160 kmph and given the current track conditions, the Delhi-Bhopal route would be best suited for it,”
Just like Metro trains, Train18 will be self-propelled train for inter-city travel, and will be India’s first. Right now, engineers are giving this train a final touch at Integral Coach Factory (ICF) Chennai, where it is being manufactured.
The trial run is expected to begin in September.
Some stunning features of this train:
- Fully sealed gangways
- Wheelchair-friendly toilets
- Diffused LED lighting
- Information screens for passengers
- Automatic doors, which will have sliding footsteps opening directly on the platform.
Train18 has been hailed as a massive technological leap for Indian Railways.
Call Inside the Flight from October!
Meanwhile, there is good news for air travelers.
Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has indicated that in-flight calling will roll out as early as October.
DoT has accepted TRAI’s recommendations on this matter, and once they approve it, the proposal will go to the Law Ministry, which will take 2-weeks to approve.
Once approved, and passed, airline carriers can apply for licenses, and start offering calling facility.
Earlier reports had emerged that the calling facility will be provided once the aircraft flies above 9850 feet.
However, there are some technical and financial roadblocks, which can be a concern: For instance, every aircraft will have to be grounded for 10 days, and $1 million needs to be spent on each for empowering them to handle the calls.
Besides, the issue of net connectivity also exists. Airlines want a license for offering internet service as well, for which they can charge money from passengers, and widen their income stream.
DoT hasn’t yet responded on these issues.
We had earlier reported that passengers can be asked to shell out 30% of the airfare for availing in-flight calls and internet.
We will keep you updated, as we receive more updates.