Prime Minister Narendra Modi will soon flag off Train 18 — the country’s fastest train – on the Delhi-Varanasi route, Union Minister Piyush Goyal said on Thursday.
The train, built under the ‘Make In India’ initiative, will pave the way for bullet trains, the railways minister added.
“Prime Minister Narendra Modi will launch Train 18 on Delhi Banaras route…It has maximum speed, built with indigenous design in Indian factory under Make In India initiative,” Goyal said.
He was speaking at the launch of PSU Concor’s containers voyage through coastal shipping, flagged by Shipping and Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari.
Goyal said Train 18’s run-time would be eight hours, about one-and-a-half times faster than the fastest train on the route.
“For bullet trains, this will be the first baby step in that direction,” the minister said.
He said the Indian Railways has taken several initiatives in the last four-and-half years and has completely stopped old coaches and introduced LHB coaches for passenger safety.
He said Indian Railways will be one of the first railways in the world to be run entirely on electricity. A Rail University has also been started with the objective to augment the transportation sector, he added.
Unmanned level crossings on the broad gauge are negligible, he said, claiming that perhaps only one such unmanned crossing exists.
Railways contribute significantly to low freight transportation, he added.