It was his alertness, and presence of mind that ensured that no fatalities occurred after one of the wheels of the Yeshwanthpur-Kannur train, carrying around 1,800 passengers, derailed in the Shiradi Ghat section in the early hours of January 4. In recognition of his valour, G Shivaraman, a loco-pilot, was felicitated by Oscar Fernandes, Rajya Sabha Member of Parliament and the South Canara District Central Cooperative Bank (SCDCCB) here on Sunday.

Reliving the experience, the 53-year-old Mysorean said around 4.50 a.m. one of the wheels derailed. At the time of the incident, the train was travelling at a speed of 25 kilometres per hour between Edakumeri and Kadagarahalli. He immediately applied the brakes, and ensured the 21-bogey train did not topple into a steep gorge of the heavily-forested Ghat section.

Even with the wheels derailed, the immediate applying of brakes ensured the passengers, most of whom who were sleeping, did not feeling anything more than a mere jerk. He even delayed making an announcement to them to ensure they remained calm. This was especially important as most of the train was still in the claustrophobic confines of a tunnel.

During the function, his actions were lauded by train guard M. Manjunath, and Lakshminarayan, a passenger, who said Mr. Shivaraman’s rapid response had saved many lives.

Mr. Fernandes, who heaped praise on the loco-pilot, said he would urge the Government to felicitate Mr. Shivaraman.

More In: Mangalore