India's Fastest Train Vande Bharat Express Begins First Commercial Run Today, Tickets Sold Out

| February 17 , 2019 , 13:53 IST

The Railways on Saturday said the indigenously built train has been “thoroughly checked” and is “ready” for its first commercial run, scheduled on Sunday, a day after it broke down on its way to Delhi from Varanasi.

The centrally air-conditioned luxury train departed from New Delhi at 6 am and is scheduled to reach Varanasi at 2 pm. It will make the return journey on the same day departing from Varanasi at 3 pm and reaching Delhi at 11 pm. The Express will operate on five days in a week, except on Monday and Thursday.

The train is running full with all tickets sold out in advance. The tickets for the next two weeks have been sold out, Railways Minister Piyush Goyal said.

Meanwhile, a fiery exchange was observed on Twitter between Congress president Rahul Gandhi and the Bharatiya Janata Party over yesterday's incident when the train broke down after ramming into cattle. "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 tweeted.

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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 tweeted.