Driverless train: After loco-pilot, Northern Railway removes Kathua station master from service : The Tribune India

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Driverless train: After loco-pilot, Northern Railway removes Kathua station master from service

The reason cited in the notice for ‘removal from service’ is ‘negligence’ which could have resulted in a ‘major incident’ causing loss of lives

Driverless train: After loco-pilot, Northern Railway removes Kathua station master from service

The loco-pilot of the train has already been removed from service.



PTI

New Delhi, March 5

The Northern Railways removed from service the station master of Kathua from where a driverless freight train rolled down for about 70 km to Punjab's Ucchi Bassi at 70 to 75 kmph speed last month.

The reason cited in the notice for "removal from service" is "negligence" which could have resulted in a "major incident" causing loss of lives.

The loco-pilot of the train has already been removed from service on similar grounds, as reported by PTI on February 29.

PTI accessed both the notices served to the loco-pilot and the station master by the disciplinary authorities of Ferozepur division. They suggest that both were removed from service on the very day of the incident, on February 25.

Action against other railway officials involved in the incident could not be ascertained.

While the loco-pilot had failed to stabilise the train by applying all the brakes of engine as well as wagons, the station master, Triveni Lal Gupta, too, overlooked norms and "failed to carry out his duties", the notice said.

According to railway sources, once a loco-pilot stabilises an engine to call off his duty, the station master is supposed to recheck everything and chain the wheels of the engine with the rail so that it does not slide.

Both the loco-pilot and the station master have been asked to appeal against the punitive action to the appellate authority within 45 days of receiving the copy of the order.

Earlier, a joint report of the incident said it was a divisional material train (DMT), which is used to carry railway materials for construction and other purposes. It was stationed at Kathua junction with 53 wagons and it had no brake van (guard's coach).

The report said that at 5.20 am, the control room informed the station master to tell the driver to take the train to Jammu but the driver refused as the train did not have either a guard's coach or a guard.

The control room, according to the report, asked the driver to shut down the train, be relieved of his duties and take a train to go to Jammu. The driver handed over the keys to the station master around 6 am and left for Jammu.

The report suggested that the train remained unmanned from 6 am to 7.10 am before it started moving on its own due to a down gradient.

Experts say that according to norms, the station master is supposed to give in writing to the loco-pilot to leave the train unmanned but in this case, as stated in the report, it was not done. The loco-pilot also did not make any entry in the load stabilising register or put his sign there, the report said. 

#Kathua


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