India’s 'fastest train' breaks down on inaugural run

Vande Bharat Express begins first commercial run book your tickets today says Railway Minister

Train 18 provides the finest of amenities and features with a travel experience second to none

Commercial operation of the train is slated to start from the February 17.

The train is Prime Minister Narendra Modi's pet project, and ironically on its first ever journey, it was stopped in the stray cattle menace that is taking alarming proportions in UP. The tickets for the next two weeks have been sold out, Railways Minister Piyush Goyal said.

Vande Bharat Express, India's first locally built semi high-speed train, broke down early on Saturday on its way back to New Delhi from Varanasi in northern Uttar Pradesh, a day after its inauguration by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi flags off the country's first semi high speed train, Vande Bharat Express, at New Delhi railway station in India, on February 15, 2019.

Train 18, which was recently rechristened Vande Bharat Express, had left Varanasi Junction for Delhi at 10:30 pm Friday, almost 45 minutes after reaching the holy city on its inaugural journey.

The train reached a speed of 180km/hr (110mph) during trials.

Meanwhile, Goyal, who had faced widespread ridicule for sharing a sped up video of the train last week, said that Vande Bharat Express 'left Delhi for Varanasi today morning on its first commercial run.'He said that tickets had been 'sold out for the next two weeks already'.

The train will depart from New Delhi at 06.00 and reach Varanasi at 14.00, running at a maximum speed of 160 km/h.

According to a statement released by India's Railway Ministry on Saturday, there were communication issues between the last four coaches and the rest of the train due to an "external hit".

An air-conditioned chair auto ticket from Delhi to Varanasi is priced at Rs 1,760, while an executive class ticket is priced at Rs 3,310. However, the train later resumed its journey after the on-board engineers fixed the problem, Kumar said. Adding up the green footprints, this fully "Make in India" train has regenerative braking system in the coaches which can save up to 30 percent of electrical energy. Thereafter, safety features in the train applied brakes.

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