Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Runaway train leaves 5 employees off duty

A runaway train has derailed the career of five railway employees.
East Central Railway (ECR) has suspended Rajgir station master and four other employees involved in a bizarre goof up, which set the Shramjeevi Express (12392) in motion without a driver on board.

According to sources, a technical snag caused Shramjeevi Express to move on its own without a driver from Rajgir station, Nalanda district, around 80km from Patna, on Saturday night. By the time the railway employees realised what had happened, the train had already moved out of the yard in the northwest direction (towards Patna). A long chase later, the train was brought to a halt but not before it had triggered a commotion at Rajgir and Nalanda stations and delayed a passenger train on the route.
The incident occurred between 9.30pm and 9.55pm. The train that was stationed at platform number 2 on Rajgir station covered a distance of 4km, travelling at a speed of approximately 6km per hour, before the rail staff stopped it.
Danapur divisional railway manager L.M. Jha told The Telegraph: “I have suspended all five people involved in the incident. Such mistakes are unpardonable and the railways cannot be lenient on this issue.”
Those who have been suspended include station master M.K. Mishra, two Grade IV employees who were assigned the job to look after the train once it reached the yard and two drivers.
Asked the reason for the train moving on its own, Jha said: “At present, I cannot say about the nature of the technical fault. The matter is being investigated by our experts… We always ensure that trains in the yard are checked properly. I want to say that the railways will take all possible precautions to ensure such incidents are not repeated in future.”
Mechanical experts, meanwhile, said such an incident is possible only when the brakes of the train are not applied properly. Any leakage in the brake system can set the train in motion if it is stationed at a higher position. Shramjeevi Express was stationed at Rajgir yard, which is on the higher side. A brake failure may have allowed the train to move towards the lower side, experts added.
Sources in the railways said the station master came to know about the incident within five minutes of the train leaving the station. He immediately contacted the Nalanda station master and asked him to stop the Rajgir Passenger train which was coming towards Rajgir station. The passenger train was halted for almost an hour, which averted a major accident.
Shramjeevi Express had come from New Delhi and was kept in the yard on Saturday night. It was supposed to leave for the national capital on Sunday morning.


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