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Friday, Dec 02, 2022

Gujarat: Vande Bharat runs into cattle for second consecutive day

Railway minister says such episodes are unavoidable.

The train's front portion suffered a small dent due to Friday's accident. (Express Photo)

On a day Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said “collision with cattle on tracks is unavoidable”, the Vande Bharat Express met with a cattle collision for the second consecutive day en route to Mumbai.

At around 4 pm Friday, the Vande Bharat Express collided with a cow at the Kanjari Boriyavi station in Kheda district of Gujarat. On Thursday, the train collided with four buffaloes at Vatva near Ahmedabad on its way to Gandhinagar. Railway officials confirmed that the train, which had been left with a damaged nose for the second consecutive day, will undergo repair on arriving in Mumbai shortly after 8 pm Friday evening.

According to railway officials, the train was running on time despite the damaged nose, which had only been repaired Thursday evening after it reached Mumbai following a collision with buffaloes the same day. Railway officials said the cow that collided with the train Friday died but no human casualty was reported.

Notably, the accident comes on a day Vaishnaw was in Anand district – just a few kilometres from Friday’s accident spot. When asked about Thursday’s accident, Vaishnaw said the train had been designed to withstand “unavoidable” collisions with bovines.

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He said, “The train is sturdy and designed to withstand accidents… In India, railway tracks are on (accessible) grounds, and everywhere, cattle cross railway tracks. It is not possible to stop them. Only when we elevate tracks in the next few years, will we be able to prevent collisions with cattle. Until then, it is unavoidable when trains are running at high speeds of 120, 130, or 160 kmph…”

The nose cone cover of the driver coach of the semi-high speed train, which got damaged after hitting the buffaloes on Thursday, was replaced with a new one in Mumbai, the Western Railway (WR) said in a statement. (Express Photo by Ganesh Shirsekar)

Vaishnaw further added that the collisions with Vande Bharat train will not result in casualty. He said, “The train has been designed thoughtfully to be strong, keeping in mind that it can be mended immediately in case of an accident… As soon as it reached Mumbai (on Thursday after Vatva-Gandhinagar), it was cleaned and its nose was replaced… The air spring of the train is a shock absorber and one cannot hear any noise inside it. The next version of Vande Bharat will run at a speed of 200kmph.”

Vaishnaw, who was interacting with students at the engineering college in Vallabh Vidyanagar after inaugurating the newly reconstructed Anand railway station, said that it was the “vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi by which 199 railway stations across the country were to undergo redevelopment in the near future”.

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The minister also described to the students the ride that the prime minister took during the inaugural run of Vande Bharat train. He said, “Modiji travelled for 40 km on the train and he spoke to the technicians and welders… They wanted pictures with him and he obliged eight or nine times, standing without support on the train even when it was running at high speed. This is because one cannot feel vibrations inside the train… The noise decibels are low. This is because it is a world-class train.”

First published on: 07-10-2022 at 06:32:03 pm
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