Vande Bharat Express, also known as Train 18, completed its first commercial run on Sunday.
Vande Bharat Express: India's first semi high-speed train Vande Bharat Express, also known as Train 18, successfully completed its inaugural run from Delhi to Varanasi on Sunday. Sharing a video of the Train 18's first commercial run, Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal said: "Vande Bharat Express left Delhi for Varanasi today morning on its first commercial run. Tickets sold out for the next two weeks already. Get yours today!" In a statement, the Railway Ministry had earlier said the train would be able to run as per schedule on February 17. "Indian Railways looks forward to welcoming passengers in this historic journey."
Vande Bharat Express left Delhi for Varanasi today morning on its first commercial run. Tickets sold out for the next two weeks already. Get yours today! pic.twitter.com/LwokUNHRJj
The railways also said that during the transportation back from Varanasi on Saturday, it was stopped at Chamraula station of National Capital Region, about 18 km from Tundla railway station, due to a communication issue between the one of the last basic units of the four coaches.
The Vande Bharat Express, which is claimed to be the fastest train in the country, was returning from Varanasi to New Delhi when it experienced an issue related to brakes in one of the train's last coaches. Reports suggest the train had started making strange sounds, following which smoke with a foul smell was noticed in the last four coaches. During the inspection, engineers found that breaks of the last few coaches had jammed, following which they decided to move the train at 10 kmph. However, the train encountered the same problem again. After resolving the issue, the train engineers, after consulting with senior officials, decided to run it at 40 kmph.
Tickets of the first commercial run of Train 18 have been completely sold out for the next two weeks, as mentioned by a senior Indian Railways official on Friday. "The first commercial run of the train on February 17 is fully booked. The train is 100 per cent occupied on its to and fro journeys as of 11.15 am Thursday," said Girish Pillai, Member, Traffic, Railway Board.
An air-conditioned chair car ticket from Delhi to Varanasi is priced at Rs 1,760, while an executive class ticket is priced at Rs 3,310. On the return journey, a chair car ticket is priced at Rs 1,700 while an executive class ticket is priced at Rs 3,260. The ticket fares are inclusive of catering charges. Meals onboard will be served from popular restaurant chain Pind Balluchi as well as from The Landmark Hotel.