Vande Bharat Express begins first commercial run

A day after the initial breakdown, India’s fastest train ‘Vande Bharat Express’ embarked on its first commercial run today. Railway Minister Piyush Goyal shared a video of the train, also dubbed Train 18, leaving the New Delhi Railway Station, adding that tickets for the next two weeks were already sold out.

“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!” Piyush Goyal tweeted.

The incident of Train’s failure had triggered a political war of words on Twitter.

“Modiji, I think Make in India needs a serious rethink. Most people feel it has failed. I assure you that we in the Congress are thinking very deeply about how it will be done,” Congress President Rahul Gandhi had tweeted.

Piyush Goyal was quick with his retort. “Such a shame that you choose to attack the hard work and ingenuity of Indian engineers, technicians, and laborers. 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?” the Railways Minister had tweeted.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi flagged off the train on Friday. During the first leg of its trip, the train ran from New Delhi to Varanasi in just eight hours — as compared to the 12-13 hours it takes for the Shatabdi Express to cover the same distance. Its speed was capped at 130 kmph in view of the condition of the tracks, despite topping 180 kmph in trial runs.

The train will run five days a week.

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