New Delhi: Within 24 hours of its launch by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Indian Railways’ Vande Bharat Express, the country’s fastest train, suffered a breakdown Saturday morning on its inaugural run.
On its way back from Varanasi to New Delhi for its first commercial run Sunday, the internal system of the train, also called Train 18, failed and power went out in some coaches. Foul smell and smoke were also reported.
At around 5:30 am, when the train was approximately 200 km away from Delhi, it met with a technical snag at Barhan, said a source in the Railway Board who was travelling aboard the Vande Bharat Express.
This technical fault led to brake locking and the first four coaches witnessed a complete power failure, added the source.
Officials travelling in the train, however, couldn’t detail the reasons for the technical fault.
Meanwhile, a group of journalists who were also aboard Train 18 were shifted to other trains to return to Delhi.
Sources in the Railway Board said that the train resumed its journey at about 8:30 am after fixing the snag.
ThePrint reached officials of the Railway Board and the Delhi DRM office for comment but there was no response until the time of publishing this report.
Vande Bharat Express has 16 air conditioned coaches with a capacity to carry 1,128 passengers. It was conceived and executed in 18 months.
The train can run at a speed of 130 kmph, while its average speed is expected to be around 99 kmph on commercial rides.
Ahead of its launch, railways minister Piyush Goyal had courted a controversy while promoting Train 18 when he tweeted a video of the train’s trial run with faster playback.
With a breakdown 18 hours after launch, there is uncertainty over its first commercial run Sunday when it is scheduled to depart for Varanasi from Delhi.
Check out My543, our comprehensive report card of all Lok Sabha MPs.