NEW DELHI/ TUNDLA: A day after it was flagged off by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the country’s first indigenous semi-high speed train Vande Bharat Express developed technical faults and reached its destination late by several hours.
According to railway officials, the snag happened due to some “external hit”. However, senior officials on-board said it was a malfunction of the brake system that jammed the wheel near Tundla railway station, some 200 km from Delhi.
The train that can run up to a maximum speed of 160 kmph completed the leftover journey at around 40 kmph.
The train is scheduled to begin commercial run from Sunday and will cover the distance between New Delhi and Varanasi in 8 hours. The prime minister has flagged off the train Friday and Railway Minister Piyush Goyal along with railways top brass and journalists travelled to Varanasi during the inaugural run.
Developed by the Integral Coach factory, Vande Bharat Express departed from Varanasi around 10:30 pm but its speed slowed down near Tundla Junction. According to people on board, the speed of the train reduced to 10-15 kmph around 5-5:15 am near Chamraula in Uttar Pradesh.
“There was smoke, and the power went off in four coaches. Railway officials tried to fix the fault, but it was taking time. We were asked to shift to another train to complete the rest of the journey to Delhi,” said a journalist on board the train.
“The Vikramshila Express stopped at Chamraula due to a technical halt and there was a mid-track transfer of occupants of Vande Bharat Express. We reached Anand Vihar Terminal at 10:45 am while the Vande Bharat Express reached at 1 pm,” he said.