A passenger, who had boarded the Vande Bharat Express without a ticket in Rajamahendravaram to click a few pictures of the new train, could not get down in time as the automatic doors closed, and was forced to travel up to Vijayawada.
However, the railway officials let off the passenger after counselling him.
The incident took place on Monday, a day after the train was launched on January 15.
Keeping in view the safety of the passenger, the Travelling Ticket Examiner (TTE) and other staff explained to the passenger about the features of the train.
“Visitors and ticketless travellers are cautioned against entering the train, as it may lead to accidents,” the officials warned.
The passenger had boarded the Chair Car. After the stipulated time, the doors closed automatically. When he approached the TTE and other staff seeking their help, they expressed their inability as the doors were automatic and would open again in the next station.
Though the railway staff onboard the train alerted the guard and the loco pilot, the passenger was forced to travel up to Vijayawada as the train had crossed the Rajamahendravaram station by then.
‘Top priority to safety’
Meanwhile, Vijayawada Divisional Railway Manager Shivendra Mohan said priority was being accorded to the safety of passengers on the railway premises and on moving trains.
“The staff have been instructed not to create panic in ticketless passengers and those have general tickets and travelling in reserved or AC compartments,” the DRM said.
Under Section 137 of Indian Railways Act, 1989, ticketless passengers can be booked for fraudulently travelling without proper pass or ticket. Under Section 138, levy of excess charge and fare for travelling without pass or travelling beyond the authorised distance can be collected.
“In this particular case, the passenger can be fined for travelling from Visakhapatnam to Secunderabad. We request the people not to enter the railway stations an board trains without ticket,” a railway officer said.
“Many people are visiting the railway stations to have a look at the Vande Bharat Express. We request them not to board the train. Public announcements will be made in all the trains in this regard,’ a Railway Protection Force (RPF) official told The Hindu on Tuesday.
“The passenger was let off after counselling, and no fine was charged,” according to Waltair DRM Anup Satpathy.