Two alert trackmen averted a collision between two trains in the heart of the city, when the Delhi-bound Guwahati Rajdhani Express and Varanasi-bound Kashi-Vishwanath Express came on the same track on Sunday afternoon near the Tilak Bridge station.
Trackmen Raj Kumar (59) and Ram Chandra (46) rushed in opposite directions, frantically waving red flags, and brought the trains to a halt barely 200 metres from each other, according to eyewitnesses. The Railways later said the trains, both packed with passengers, were 400 metres from each other.
Sudhir Garg, additional divisional regional manager, Delhi, blamed a switching error due to which the Kashi Vishwanath Express was placed on the same track as the Rajdhani. An inquiry has been ordered. ‘Point’ error blamed for train fiasco
A ‘point’ error has been blamed for the placement of Guwahati Rajdhani Express and Kashi-Vishwanath Express on the same track. “It was a point failure as the clamping of the Kashi Vishwanath was wrongly done. We have set up a committee headed by the deputy operational manager who will investigate the failure, so that we can take suitable action,” Garg said.
Around 12.30 pm, senior trackman Raj Kumar, who was on duty near the power cabin of Tilak Bridge, noticed that the track of the Kashi Vishwanath Express had been changed to the one on which the Rajdhani was travelling. Eyewitnesses said Kumar ran frantically with a red flag towards the Rajdhani and shouted out to fellow trackman Ram Chandran to stop the other train. Luckily, the drivers of both trains responded by applying brakes.”I had little hope of being able to stop the train but I ran to the best of my ability. Luckily, the Rajdhani driver saw me and managed to stop the train in time. When he asked me why I had stopped the train, I told him not to move. I then ran back to check on the other train and thankfully it too had stopped,” Kumar said. Chandran, the other trackman, said, “God was kind that nothing happened. It could have been amajor accident.”
The source of the error was a ‘point’ near the power cabin of Tilak Bridge which was wrongly changed in the direction in which the Rajdhani was coming. “The point should have been in normal mode, but somehow it was changed to ‘reverse’. This resulted in the fiasco,” said a source at the Tilak Bridge station.