Day after launch, Train 18 suffers cattle hit, breaks down near Varanasi


Indian Railways flagship semi-high speed train, the Vande Bharat Express, broke down early on Saturday morning, a day after it was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.


The engine-less Train 18 was on its way back from Varanasi after its first run. The breakdown happened near Tundla, around 200 km from Delhi, in what the railways are claiming to be a possible cattle hit. The train was returning from Varanasi at night and it was not a scheduled commercial run.

Due to one of the cattle coming under the train’s wheel, the communication system of the last coach broke down affecting the train’s control management system which stopped working.

The coach was isolated and teh train resumed its journey at 8.15am.

Commercial operations of the train are scheduled to begin on February 17.

The indigenously built train can reach a top speed of 180kmph. Yesterday, on its inaugural run, the train had touched a top speed of 130kmph.

The train has been manufactured by the Integral Coach Factory, Chennai.

Railway Minister Piyush Goyal on Friday said “encouraged by the positive feedback” received on the run of the Vande Bharat Express he had decided to place an order for hundred more such trains to cover all routes where shorter distances can be covered.

The 16-coach train was built in 18 months at a cost of Rs 97 crore by the Integral Coach Factory in Uttar Pradesh’s Rae Bareli. The first locomotive-less train in the country is being seen as a successor to the 30-year-old premier Shatabdi Express.