Thursday, March 30, 2017

TNN | Updated: Mar 25, 2017


BHOPAL: A fresh sabotage attempt to derail the passenger train on the 202-km-long world's longest narrow gauge route - between Gwalior and Sheopur in Madhya Pradesh was foiled by alert loco pilots.

The pilots on seeing huge slabs on the rail tracks stopped the train in time and got the tracks cleared with the help of passengers.

Government railway police (GRP) and railway protection force (RPF) are groping in dark over three such plots in the last one year.

Latest derailment bid took place on Sunday. And, the plot was to derail the train on a bridge with no iron girders to act as bulwark. A huge slab was placed between the tracks on the bridge between Banmore and Sumawali area of the Chambal region.

Had they succeeded in their attempt, the train carrying hundreds of passengers would have fallen off the bride, said a railway officer.

Additional director general of GRP G P Singh told TOI that the matter is being investigated.

Loco pilots - S K Anand and Chetram Meena saw the slab while the train was approaching the bridge. They stopped the train and got the slab removed with the help of passengers, said sources.

As it is the only connectivity for people living in towns between these two districts, it ferries nearly 1,000 passengers daily, with many dangerously perched on the roof of the coaches.

Last major derailment bid too was foiled by the alertness of the loco pilots on February 15, last month. Railway officials said around 70 stone slabs were placed by miscreants within a distance of three kilometers on the two-foot-wide tracks of the heritage line that connects 28 small towns between Gwalior and Sheopur.

Loco pilot Rajesh Jain had managed to save hundreds of lives with his alertnesss that time.

This is a heritage track previously known as Gwalior Light Railway (GLR) or Maharaja Railways of India and is now part of North Central Railway (NCR).

And the NCR is looking forward to discontinue this facility owing to undue expenditures. Railway officials are planning to replace this track with a broad gauge track. A proposal of Rs 1,500 crore is pending with the Union ministry, sources said.

KNOW GLR

Gwalior Light Railway (GLR) was established in the 19th century by Maharaja Madhavrao Scindia II.

Construction started in 1895 and was completed by 1909.

It connects 28 towns between Gwalior and Sheopur and is the world's longest operating section of the railways narrow gauge.

Union government had in 2009 proposed that the Gwalior Light Railway be included in the UNESCO's list of world heritage sites considering it as a remarkable example of 19th century engineering.

Two other narrow gauge lines on Gwalior-Sabalgarh narrow gauge line has already been discontinued.

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