vande bharat
India's first locomotive-less train "the Vande Bharat Express" also known as Train 18, arrives at Varanasi Junction railway station during a test run from New Delhi, on Feb 2, 2019.IANS

The indigenously built, high-speed Vande Bharat Express began its first commercial run on Sunday as per schedule, a day after it suffered a break down while on its way to Delhi from Varanasi.

The train left for Varanasi from New Delhi railway station at 6 am, according to the Railway Ministry.

Railways Minister Piyush Goyal said in a tweet: "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!"

The train manufactured by Chennai-based Integral Coach Factory (ICF) had broken down on Saturday at Chamraula station in Uttar Pradesh, some 194 km from the national capital.

Reports suggest that a cow came under the wheels of the train which caused the brake systems of the last coach to fail. It will take at least six to eight hours to repair the faults. 

According to the technical staff, the train developed some technical problems with its brake systems at 5.30 am on Saturday, February 16. However, the railways claimed that the breakdown happened due to cattle movement on the tracks.

It was on its empty return journey to Delhi from Varanasi, a day after it was flagged off by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The train reportedly cost Rs 97 crore and took 18 months to build. Railways Minister Piyush Goyal is said to have ordered 100 more of these trains to help cover short distances across the country.