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TestIndia's first semi-high speed train Vande Bharat Express makes commercial debut

18 February 2019

The semi high-speed train was also a part of an effort to significantly cut the travel times from places like New Delhi to Varanasi.

The centrally air-conditioned luxury train departed from New Delhi at 6 am and is scheduled to reach Varanasi at 2 pm.

The train, which was carrying mostly railway officials and journalists, eventually made it to New Delhi where repairs are expected to be made.

The ministry also claimed that it was not a regular run and that the train will start its regular run from Sunday. Tickets of this train were already sold out for the next two weeks.

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Train 18 which is now called as Vande Bharat Express, left for Varanasi on Sunday on its first commercial run.

The Indian-built semi high-speed Vande Bharat Express was returning to the capital Delhi from the city of Varanasi after its first outing when brakes in a carriage reportedly jammed.

Railways spokesperson Smita Vats Sharma said that this was not a scheduled commercial run.

According to a statement released by India's Railway Ministry on Saturday, there were communication issues between the last four coaches and the rest of the train due to an "external hit".

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All coaches of the train are equipped with automatic doors, GPS based audio-visual passenger information system, onboard hotspot Wi-Fi for entertainment purposes, and bio-vacuum toilets. "Before coming to a halt at Chamrola station, the train slowed down to a sluggish speed of 10 km per hour".

The new Vande Bharat Express is India's latest production locomotive under Modi's ambitious "Make in India" initiative. Railway officials shifted media persons to Vikramshila Express as they were unsure how long it would take to fix the glitch. However, the train later resumed its journey after the on-board engineers fixed the problem, Kumar said.

The semi-high speed train, which presently is running at the speed of 130 km/hr, though it has been created to reach a speed of 180 km/hr, once the tracks are developed to that level.

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TestIndia's first semi-high speed train Vande Bharat Express makes commercial debut