Express train loco pilot throws speed caution to the wind


The Madurai Division of Southern Railway has ordered an enquiry into a safety-related incident in which a loco pilot of Chennai-Nagercoil Antyodaya Express failed to slow down the train as per the caution order between Vadipatti and Sholavandan railway stations, thus “endangering” the lives of workers who were involved in track maintenance in Dindigul-Madurai broad gauge section on Tuesday morning.

The train, which was supposed to run at 30 kmph as per the temporary caution order, maintained its high speed of around 100 kmph while crossing km 470/200 between Vadipatti and Sholavandan railway stations. After the mistake was realised, the guard applied emergency brakes to bring the train to a screeching halt. However, the train, by that time, had crossed some 300 metres beyond the work spot where the workers were involved in the maintenance job.

A railway official said that through fitting renewal work had been taken up at the spot near Karupatti railway station. After the workers had assembled, some of them had started to replace the elastic rail clips, rubber pads and liners. “Workers ran helter skelter on noticing the speeding train. Fortunately, no one was injured,” a railway official said. The incident occurred around 8.30 a.m.

Three senior officials, headed by Divisional Operations Manager (Coaching), will conduct an enquiry on Wednesday into the incident that violated safety rules. Besides the loco pilot, assistant loco pilot and guard of the train, station master (Vadipatti) and engineering officials and staff have been called for the enquiry.

The caution order is issued not only to safeguard the workers involved in their job, but also for the safety of the train and its passengers as parts of the track would be under repair and unfit for running train at higher speed.

The incident comes close on the heels of an “averted collision” involving two passengers trains that were set on a collision course between Tirumangalam and Kalligudi railway stations on the night of Wednesday last.

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Printable version | Sep 19, 2021 10:30:40 PM |

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