The Integral Coach Factory (ICF) will be manufacturing 740 coaches for Train 18, a Semi high-speed railway service. These coaches may cost Rs 4,000 crore to 4,300 crore.
Minister of Railways and Commerce & Industry Piyush Goyal, in a written reply to a question in Lok Sabha today, said that the production schedules for 2019-20, 2020-21 and 2021-22 involve the manufacture of 160, 240 and 240 coaches, respectively, for the train sets at Integral Coach Factory (ICF). Two coaches have already been put into service.
Train 18 is a semi high-speed, fully air-conditioned service with quicker acceleration and contemporary passenger amenities such as on-board infotainment, GPS-based passenger information system, CCTV, automatic sliding doors with retractable coach footsteps and zero-discharge vacuum-based bio-toilets.
The train's safety oscillation trials were certified by the Research Designs & Standards Organisation (RDSO), following which the Commissioner of Railway Safety (CRS) cleared the train sets for commercial operation.
At present, Train 18 runs on the New Delhi-Varanasi and New Delhi-Sri Mata Vaishno Devi Katra sectors.
Train 18, also known as the Vande Bharat Express, is fashioned along the lines of the Shatabdi. However, since it is a semi high-speed service that offers additional amenities and operational advantages to passengers, its fare is higher than that of Shatabdi trains.
It was designed and built by Integral Coach Factory, Chennai, under the Indian government's Make-in-India initiative.