To find out the reason for Sunday’s fault that led to a running train coming to an abrupt halt in an underground stretch on Line 3, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation has sent the data from the train’s log to Germany, where it will be examined.
The train, which came to a sudden halt between Rajiv Chowk and R. K. Ashram stations, was manufactured in Germany by Bombardier and was introduced only recently on the metro network. On Sunday afternoon when the train came to a halt, several passengers unable to comprehend the train operator’s message forced open the doors of the coach and got on to the tracks.
Referring to the incident, DMRC officials claimed that the train’s auxiliary power system had failed. However, on Monday officials told The Hindu that the train’s traction had got stuck and therefore the halt. “There was something wrong with the traction..…there was a switch which was not working properly and the traction motors could not propel the train forward,” said an official. A train receives power supply for the traction and the auxiliary systems; while the former is used for running the train, the latter provides energy for running the ventilation and lighting systems inside the coach.
The official said: “The train otherwise seemed fine. Once we removed it to the depot and checked it, it worked without any glitches. We are now awaiting the report from Germany to figure out what went wrong on Sunday.”
Refuting allegations that the passengers were left stranded in the train without any proper communication, the official said: “The train operator said he made the announcement repeatedly, but the crowd did not pay heed. They mobbed the cabin and even forced open the doors.”
The official also denied that the lights inside the coach went out, adding to the commuter’s panic. “Even when there is a problem in the power system, there are emergency lights that stay on. These lights are lit using a battery and can run for at least 60 minutes even if the battery is not fully charged.”
Even as it is yet to pinpoint the reason for the malfunctioning, DMRC remained firm that the commuters were to be blamed for delaying the rescue work. “It was difficult for us to even send another train, because there were passengers on the tracks and it would have been extremely dangerous to their safety. Had the passengers stayed on inside the coaches, rescue work would have been over in much less time,” the official said. The DMRC officials declined to give information on the passengers who were injured while getting off the train on Sunday.