Snags fixed, Vande Bharat Express commercial run on schedule

After inaugural run on Friday, the train had developed some problems on the return leg of its journey from Varanasi and had to be halted twice

Snags fixed, Vande Bharat Express commercial run on schedule

phoyo SNS

A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi flagged off the Delhi-Varanasi Vande Bharat Express, the first engine-less semi-high speed train developed snags on its way back to Delhi on Saturday and had to halt twice. The unexpected development cast a shadow on its regular operations that was to begin on Sunday, 17 February, but railway sources said the Vande Bharat Express commercial run was on schedule.

After reaching Varanasi around 9.45 pm on Friday on its inaugural run, the train left for Delhi at 10.30 pm the same night. Trouble started Saturday morning, and the train first stopped near Tundla Junction in Uttar Pradesh around 6.30 am. It remained stuck there for around a couple of hours.

Stating that there was a “possible cattle run over”, the railway sources told The Statesman that tripping was caused by the flesh of the dead animal.


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In an official statement later, Indian Railway spokesperson Smita Vats Sharma said: “This disruption appears to be because of a possible cattle run over. The train was returning at night and cattle run over is a possibility at odd times.”

Railway Minister Piyush Goyal and Railway Board Chairman Vinod Yadav travelled along with mediapersons during the inaugural run of Vande Bharat Express, which covered a distance of 760 km from Delhi to Varanasi. Other senior railway officials were also on board.

These mediapersons were on board the train on its return journey. Those travelling in the train said power went out in some coaches around 5 am, and the train was running at a sluggish pace before coming to a halt near Tundla around 6.30 am.

“It was a case of skidding wheels after the train ran over cattle,” Northern Railway CPRO Deepak Kumar said.

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The train resumed its journey to Delhi around 8.15 am after all obstructions were removed, officials said.

However, after running for 40 minutes at a slower speed, Train 18 suffered a breakdown again at Hathras Junction.

According to reports, the brakes of the train had jammed, which were fixed at Hathras. Vande Bharat Express finally resumed its journey to Delhi around 10:30 am, and was able to attain speeds of 100 km per hour.

The Railway Ministry later confirmed the train had reached Delhi, and was ready for its commercial run.

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“India’s First Semi High Speed train Vande Bharat Express completed its inaugural trip to Varanasi and returned back to New Delhi. Looking forward to its regular run from tomorrow,” the ministry tweeted.

The train is overbooked for its first commercial run, according to the Railways.

Manufactured by the Integral Coach Factory, Chennai, Vande Bharat Express had hit 180 kmph speed levels during a trial run on a section of the Delhi-Mumbai Rajdhani route. On the Delhi-Varanasi section, however, it will run at a maximum of 130 kmph speeds.