Scare as driverless freight train travels 70 km from Kathua to Dasuya, probe on : The Tribune India

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Scare as driverless freight train travels 70 km from Kathua to Dasuya, probe on

Scare as driverless freight train travels 70 km from Kathua to Dasuya, probe on

A video grab of the train.



Our Correspondents

Srinagar/Hoshiarpur, Feb 25

A major tragedy was averted after a driverless freight train with 53 wagons travelled nearly 70 km from Kathua in Jammu and Kashmir before coming to a halt at Unchi Bassi, near Dasuya, in Hoshiarpur district this morning. An inquiry has been ordered into the incident.

Reaches Dasuya From Kathua

  • Around 7.20 am, train stationed at Kathua railway station rolls down slope without crew; cruises at 100 kmph due to downward gradient; alert is sounded
  • Line is cleared & train put on track with gradient against gravity; bid to stop it near Pathankot fails, another attempt near Mukerian also proves futile
  • Train finally slows down due to steep gradient near Unchi Bassi around 9 am; the Railway Board orders an inquiry, team to visit Kathua on Monday

The chip stone-laden train, with its diesel locomotive running, was stationed at the Kathua railway station when it started rolling down the slope on the Jammu-Jalandhar section without the loco pilot or assistant loco pilot aboard around 7.20 am.

According to sources, the train, which was on its way from Jammu to Punjab, gained speed (cruising at up to 100 km per hour) due to downward gradient. The Kathua Station Superintendent’s office sounded the alert.

The train broke the signal at Kathua, prompting the control room to flash orders to keep the line clear. All level crossings on the route were closed. An attempt to stop the train on the outskirts of Pathankot failed due to high speed. As a precautionary measure, the line at the Pathankot railway station was kept clear and all oncoming trains were halted. Another attempt near Mukerian also proved futile, although the train lost speed.

Finally, the train slowed down due to steep gradient near Unchi Bassi and measures were taken to halt it by placing obstacles on the tracks. To the relief of officials, the train came to a standstill around 9 am.

The brakes of the locomotive and six wagons each at the front and rear were applied, while chains and blocks were placed to secure the train.

“After it started moving, it was stopped by meticulous planning of officers in the control room and field. All its routes were set towards such a line through which there was a gradient against gravity. The speed gradually got reduced and eventually it came to a halt near Unchi Bassi, having covered nearly 70 km,” a senior railway official said, adding no injuries or casualties were reported in the incident.

The Railway Board has ordered an inquiry. A board team will visit Kathua to initiate an on-spot inquiry on Monday.

Railway officials at the scene said the incident was being investigated and the DRM, Ferozepur Division, would be able to comment once the investigation was over. The DRM could not be reached for comment.

#Hoshiarpur #Jammu #Kashmir #Kathua #Srinagar


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