Vande Bharat Express completes first commercial journey

Vande Bharat Express completes first commercial journey

Vande Bharat Express, India's first semi-high speed train, arrives back from Varanasi after its inaugural run at New Delhi Railway Station, Saturday, Feb. 16, 2019. Vande Bharat Express ran into some trouble early Saturday while returning to Delhi from Va

Vande Bharat Express, India's first semi high-speed train, successfully completed its first commercial journey from New Delhi to Varanasi on Sunday.

Railway Minister Piyush Goyal posted the video of the train, which earlier called Train 18, leaving New Delhi Railway Station. He also informed that tickets of the train have sold out for the next two weeks.

Though engine-less train was started on time at 6 am from New Delhi Railway Station, it had to run on reduced speed in several places due to low visibility following dense fog. Due to this, the train reached Varanasi around 80 minutes late.

The train was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday ( February 15) and it developed a technical snag on Saturday morning while returning to New Delhi from Varanasi.

While the railways claimed that the technical snag was small and it has been fixed, the Integral Coach Factory (ICF), Chennai, maker of the train said: "the train is a prototype and may have a teething problem initially."

Meanwhile, there was a fiery exchange between BJP and Congress on the Vande Bharat Express train technical snag witnessed on Saturday due to external hit.

Congress President Rahul Gandhi slammed Make In India campaign saying that: " Modiji, i think Make in India needs a serious rethink. Most people feel it has failed. I assure you we in the Congress are thinking very deeply about how it will be done."

Retaliating, the BJP said Gandhi is a "consistent failure". Even Goyal also attacked Rahul for his criticism to Make In India programme.

"Such a shame that you chose to attack the hard work and ingenuity of Indian engineers, technicians and labourers. It is THIS mindset which needs a reset. 'Make In India' is a success and a part of crores of Indian lives. Your family had 6 decades to think, wasn't that enough?" Goyal questioned.

Train 18, which was successfully tested to run at 180 km per hour during its trial run, was conceptualised and produced in 18 months by Integrated Coach Factory, Chennai. At present, it is permitted to run only 130 km per hour due to safety reasons. The commissioner of railway safety advised the railways to upgrade signalling system, improve the tracks, and put fences on both sides of tracks to prevent entry of anybody to tracks as safety measures. Once all these safety measures are taken, the railways can run the train at 180 km speed per hour, said the railway officials.