Vande Bharat Express hits cattle again, collisions are unavoidable says Railway Minister

An FIR was lodged against owners of buffaloes in Gujarat that were hit by the Vande Bharat express

October 07, 2022 07:33 pm | Updated October 08, 2022 05:49 pm IST - Mumbai

A file photo of damaged Vande Bharat Express after it hit a group of Buffaloes on October 6, 2022.

A file photo of damaged Vande Bharat Express after it hit a group of Buffaloes on October 6, 2022. | Photo Credit: PTI

Watch | Railways Minister says Vande Bharat Express is strong enough to withstand collisions

The Gandhinagar-Mumbai Vande Bharat Express hit a cow near Anand station in Gujarat on Friday, resulting in minor damage to the train’s nose panel, an official said.

A day before, the newly-launched semi-high speed train had hit four buffaloes and its nose cone had to be replaced.

The railway official said the train did not sustain major damage in the latest incident except a small dent on the nose cone panel.

The incident on Friday took place at 3.48 p.m. near Anand, about 432 km from Mumbai.

“The train’s front portion has suffered a small dent,” confirmed Sumit Thakur, chief public relations officer of Western Railway, adding that all the passengers were safe.

‘Collision with cattle on railway tracks is unavoidable’

Collision with cattle on the tracks is unavoidable and this has been kept in mind while designing the semi-high-speed Vande Bharat train, Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said here on Friday.

A day before, four buffaloes were killed after being hit by the Gandhinagar Capital-Mumbai Central Vande Bharat Express near Vatva in Ahmedabad. The train’s cone nose was damaged and replaced later.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had flagged off the train on the route on September 30.

“The train has been designed in such a way and it is so strong that if there is an accident, nothing will happen to the train. Its nose on the front is totally replaceable. As soon as the train reached Mumbai (after the incident on Thursday), it was completely cleaned up and its nose replaced,” Vaishnaw said here.

The Minister was interacting with the students of an engineering college at Vallabh Vidyanagar.

The train has been designed “very thoughtfully,” he said.

“In India, the tracks are laid on the ground. Wherever you go, cattle will cross them, one cannot stop them. Unless we elevate the tracks in another 5-6 years, they (cattle) will come in front of the trains,” the Minister said.

“The trains will run at a speed of 120-130-160 kmph and a collision is inevitable. It is a matter of common sense and design. Therefore, design it in such a way that you can mend it whenever there is such an incident,” the Union Minister said.

The train has been designed keeping this in mind, he said.

The next version of the Vande Bharat train will run at a speed of 200 kmph, Vaishnaw said.

The latest updated version which runs on the Gandhinagar-Mumbai route has a top speed of 160 kmph.

During the interaction with college students, the Minister also talked about Modi’s experience of the train as he travelled from Gadhinagar to Kalupur railway station in Ahmedabad on the first day.

The air spring of the train absorbs the shock nearly completely and noise is practically non-existent inside, Vaishnaw said.

“PM Modi travelled for nearly 40 km. Along the route, he was talking to technicians and welders and stood eight or nine times for photos on their request. He did not have to take support even once due to non-existing vibration (when he was standing). Even the noise level is 65 decibels against 80-90 decibels of planes,” he said.

These are the features of a “world-class train”, the Minister added.

The first two Vande Bharat trains (launched first in 2019) have covered 18 lakh kilometres which are equal to nearly 45 times the Earth’s periphery without any major problem, he said.

FIR in Gujarat against owners of buffaloes hit by Vande Bharat express; train’s damaged nose cover replaced

A view of the Vande Bharat Express train in New Delhi. File

A view of the Vande Bharat Express train in New Delhi. File | Photo Credit: R.V. Moorthy

 The Railway Protection Force (RPF) in Gujarat has registered a case against the owners of buffaloes that were hit by the Mumbai-Gandhinagar Vande Bharat express, in which the front portion of the train was damaged, officials said on Friday.

The newly-launched Mumbai Central-Gandhinagar Vande Bharat train had hit the herd of buffaloes around 11.15 a.m. on Thursday near Ahmedabad, when the train was on its way to Gandhinagar. Four buffaloes were killed in the incident, the officials said.

“The RPF has lodged a first information report (FIR) against the unidentified owners of the buffaloes that came in the way of Vande Bharat train between Vatva and Maninagar railway stations in Ahmedabad,” WR’s senior spokesperson (Ahmedabad division) Jitendra Kumar Jayant said.

RPF inspector Pradeep Sharma posted at Vatva railway station said the FIR was filed under section 147 of the Railways Act, 1989, which deals with unauthorised entry into any part of a railway and misuse of its property. “The FIR was registered on Thursday evening in connection with the incident in which four buffaloes were killed,” he said. The railway police have not yet been able to identify the owners of the buffaloes so far and efforts are on to do so, he said.

The incident had occurred in Punitnagar area near Vatva railway station on the outskirts of Ahmedabad city, Mr. Sharma added.

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