On its first run on the tracks with passengers on board, India’s first engine-less train Vande Bharat Express, or Train 18, ran at a top speed of 130 kmph on 15 February 2019, flagging off a new niche for semi-high speed trains in India. The inaugural run of the new train was flagged off to great fanfare by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The train’s speed was capped at 130 km/h keeping in view the condition of the tracks, even though it has topped 180 km/h in its trial runs. It reached Varanasi from New Delhi in just 8 hours.
16 February 2019, the train was returning from Varanasi after its inaugural run and broke down about 200 km from the capital at around 0600. It resumed its journey after almost 2 hours at around 0815 before coming to a halt again at 0855. After necessary repairs, it resumed its journey towards Delhi.
The train had to be brought to Delhi to fix the fault and it cannot be driven above 40 km per hour for now, sources said. So much for the “fast train”. For more firsthand experience with Indian Railways, Check out Horriday in India.