The Vande Bharat Express, India’s first semi-high speed train which was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday, faced an unexpected obstacle on Saturday and was forced to stop for close to two hours near Tundla in Uttar Pradesh.

The Indian Railways said the disruption was caused by “possible cattle run over”.

“Vande Bharat Express was standing 18km from Tundla since 6.30 am. There seems to be disruption due to a possible cattle run over.  After removing the obstacle, journey to Delhi resumed around 8.15 am,” it said.

Tundla is some 240 kilometres from the national capital.

Officials said it was a case of “skidding wheels” which was being looked at by engineers.

“It was a case of cattle run over due to which there was some problem of wheels skidding. Engineers are looking at it,” said Northern Railway CPRO Deepak Kumar.

The Railways said that it wasn’t a scheduled commercial run and commercial operations of the train begin from February 17. The train was coming back from Varanasi to get ready for its first commercial run.

Billed as India’s fastest train, which hit 180 kmph during trials, was inaugurated by Prime Minister Modi in Delhi on Friday.

On its inaugural run to Varanasi from New Delhi, the train attained a maximum speed of 130 kmph.

“The maximum speed on this route would be 130 kmph and the average speed would around 95 kmph,” said Girish Pillai, Member, Traffic, Railway Board.

Its acceleration and deceleration are different compared to other trains, he said.

“The train has the capacity to run at 160 kmph. It ran at 180 kmph during trial. The maximum speed of this section is 130 kmph so it will run at 130 kmph,” Pillai added.

On its inaugural run, the train will take nine hours and 45 minutes to complete its journey due to two 40-minute stops for a variety of programmes, but on its commercial run it will take around eight hours.

On its first commercial run on Sunday, the train will leave the national capital at 6 am and 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.

 

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