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Day after breakdown, Vande Bharat Express begins first commercial journey

Vande Bharat Express left the New Delhi Railway Station at its scheduled time of 6 am and is expected to reach Varanasi at 2 pm.

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DNA Web Team

Updated: Feb 17, 2019, 09:11 AM IST

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Vande Bharat Express, India's first semi-high speed train, began its first commercial journey on Sunday from New Delhi Railway Station to Varanasi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Lok Sabha constituency. 

The train is running full with all tickets sold out in advance. The tickets for the next two weeks have been sold out, Railways Minister Piyush Goyal said. 

The train left the national capital at its scheduled time of 6 am and is expected to reach Varanasi at 2 pm. On the same day, it will leave Varanasi at 3 pm and reach Delhi at 11 pm. The Vande Bharat Express will operate on five days in a week, except on Monday and Thursday.

The train was flagged off by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday. 

The first commercial run of India's fastest train came a day after it ran into trouble twice during its return to Delhi from Varanasi.

On Saturday, a day after being flagged off by Prime Minister Modi, the Vande Bharat Express ran into trouble early Saturday.

The train, which does not have a locomotive, reached Delhi around 1 pm, hours behind its schedule. Officials said the delay was caused by "skidding wheels", but those on board the train claimed the problem related to malfunctioning of brakes.

In a detailed statement issued in the evening, the railways said the train had to be stopped at Chamraula station of National Capital Region, about 18 km after crossing Tundla station.

"There was an issue of communication between the last basic unit of 4 coaches and the rest of the train probably due to some external hit. Thereafter, safety features in the train applied brakes. The train was checked for faults and moved to Delhi," it said.

In the statement, the railways said the train has been examined at New Delhi maintenance depot to rectify the defect in communication that occurred en route.

Train 18, manufactured by the Integral Coach Factory, Chennai, was flagged off by Prime Minister Modi on February 15. It became India's fastest train by hitting speeds of over 180 kmph during a trial run on a section of the Delhi-Mumbai Rajdhani route.

(With PTI inputs)

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