A train accident was averted near Permon here on Wednesday morning when two friends noticed a crack in the rail track of the up line on the Kollam-Kayamkulam section.
Rail traffic from Kollam towards north was held up for over two hours because the development.
The two friends Gangadharan and Sasidharan were together at the former’s house reading the morning paper when they noticed that the sound of the passing Jan Shadabti Express was rather unusual. They immediately rushed to inspect the tracks and noticed that one of the tracks had cracked into two.
The crack was at the point where two tracks had been welded.
In fact one portion lay slightly higher that the other. The point where the crack was noticed was 50 meters south of the Perumon Bridge across the Ashtamudi Lake. The friends then alerted the local residents of the area since the Eranakulam bound Parasuram Express was due to pass that way soon.
After making arrangements to inform the railway authorities at Kollam, Gangadharan rushed to his house, grabbed a red flag from inside and ran through the tracks quite a distance to wave the flag and stop the on coming Parasuram Express in time.
Since he was an active member of one of the left parties, a red flag was conveniently available, he said.
In the interim a team of technicians arrived from Kollam and rectified the damage through a two hour operation. But railway sources said that both the tracks will have to be replaced. Till then loco pilots of the trains passing through that section have been directed to go dead slow through the rectified course..