The New Delhi-Varanasi Vande Bharat Express was taken out of operation on Saturday after it suffered a snag in a traction motor that jammed its wheels and damaged their perfect roundness, a situation officials described as "flat tyre".
The officials said the semi-high speed train left New Delhi station at its scheduled time of 06.00 AM but it had to be withdrawn at Khurja station in Uttar Pradesh, just after travelling about 90 km.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 had to be deboarded and shifted to a Shatabdi Express rake brought from Delhi for their onwards journey, which started around 12.40 pm.
''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 Railways said in a statement.
"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,'' the statement said.
Passengers of Vande Bharat Express train being shifted to another train. PTI Photo
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.
Hence, any fault in the traction motor may force the train to be suspended or induce safety accidents.
Officials said the train crossed Dadri station of North Central Railway at 06.38 hours.
When it was hurtling 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.
"At aorund 12:40, all the 1,068 passengers were deboarded and shifted to a Shatabdi Express rake which was brought from Delhi for their onwards journey," an official said.
Senior Section Engineer, Carriage and Wagon, V K Meena said the Shatabdi Express began the onward journey after a four-hour wait by the passengers.
The Vande Bharat Express was being repaired to take it to Delhi, he said.
A 'flat tyre' in the railway terminology refers to the damage to the perfect roundness of the wheel with some "flat" places in its periphery.
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.