Varanasi-bound Vande Bharat Express gets “flat tyre”, passengers shifted to Shatabdi

New Delhi: The newly launched Vande Bharat express en-route New Delhi to Varanasi was taken out of operation on Saturday after it hit a snag. According to the officials, there was a problem with the traction motor which jammed the wheels and damaged their perfect roundness. The officials described this problem as a “flat tyre”.

According to reports the semi-high speed train left New Delhi station at its scheduled time of 06.00 AM but it had to be withdrawn at Khurja station in Uttar Pradesh, just after travelling about 90 km.

All the 1,068 passengers in the train had to be deboarded and shifted to a Shatabdi Express rake brought from Delhi to continue their journey. This train left the station around 12.40 pm.

In a statement, the Railways said “Varanasi Vande Bharat rake (Train no 22436) has suffered a failure due to bearing defect in Traction Motor of C8 coach between Dankaur and Wair stations of North Central Railway”.

The statement continued, saying, “The bearing jam was rectified with assistance of NCR team. However, due to development of a flat tyre of 80 mm, the train has been moved at a restricted speed of 20 kmph up to Khurja…A detailed investigation of the failure will be done after taking the rake back to maintenance depot”.

A traction motor is an electric motor used for the propulsion of a system such as locomotives, electric or hydrogen vehicles, elevators or electric multiple units.

Traction motor bearings are key to the safe operation of high-speed trains, but they are also the most vulnerable component of the motor. An undetected bearing failure may cause serious accidents. Any fault in the traction motor may force the train to be suspended or induce safety accidents.

The train crossed Dadri station of North Central Railway at 06:38 AM.

When it went past the level crossing gate no 146, the gateman working there felt some friction in the 7th compartment from the rear SLR (Seating cum Luggage Rake) of the train and immediately reported the brake block jam.

The train, cruising at around 100 kmph, was then halted at Wair Station (Bulandshahar) at 7:30 am, 67 km from Delhi.

Later, after inspection of the wheel by the onboard technical staff, the train was taken 20 km further to Khurja Railway Station at a controlled speed.

This is the third day in a row that the Vande Bharat train has been in the news. Earlier, the newly launched Gandhinagar-Mumbai Vande Bharat Express ran into cattle herds on Thursday and Friday, damaging the nose of the train on both days.

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