Karnataka

Alert train crew rewarded for timely action

Considering the timely action (which averted a major mishap) by a loco pilot, assistant loco pilot and guard of Train No 01134 (Mangaluru Jn.-Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus, Mumbai), which suffered a derailment, the South Western Railway has rewarded them.

General Manager of South Western Railway Gajanan Mallya appreciated the presence of mind, swift action by the loco pilot, assistant loco pilot and the guard and announced a cash award for them, a press release said.

The incident occurred on July 23. At about 6.10 a.m., while driving the train from Kulem towards Castle Rock (up ghat), at km 39/800 near Dudhsagar-Sonaulim section, loco pilot of the leading engine Ranjeet Kumar observed that mud was slipping, ahead on the track, from the side walls of the hill beside the track. He immediately applied the emergency brakes and brought the train to a stop. Due to mud and soil-mixed boulders on the track, the engine derailed along with two sets of wheels, despite the immediate braking.

He alerted the Station Master of Dudhsagar to relay the message to Control Office, Hubballi.

Meanwhile, noticing emergency brakes being applied, guard Shailender Kumar applied hand brakes in the brake van and proceeded to the engine. Parallelly, the guard and the loco pilot instructed the assistant loco pilots of the leading and banking engines to place detonators at stipulated distance on the track in both the rear and front and also secured the train by tying chains to the track, placing wheel-skids, as per standard safety protocol.

Having noticed that slush and mud were also falling on coaches attached to the front engine, they shifted the passengers from the first three coaches to the rear coaches and un-coupled these coaches from the rest of the train. Subsequently, they utilised the rear (banking) engine to pull the train with 345 passengers back to Kulem Station. Guard Shailender Kumar accompanied loco pilot S.D. Meena and assistant loco pilot S.K. Saini to take the train safely with passengers to Kulem, while Ranjeet Kumar and his assistant Hashid K. stayed back with the derailed engine near the spot to assist in restoration, the release said.

The ghat section

The Castle Rock-Kulem Ghat section is 27 km long and it is a single line rail section passing through the Western Ghats in uninhabited territory through forested area. The entire ghat section has a steep gradient (1 in 37) and trains are pushed with engines in the rear (for providing sufficient horsepower) in addition to being pulled by the engines in the front. The stations between Castle Rock and Kulem — Caranzol, Dudhsagar and Sonaulim — are connected only by rail with no road connectivity. This is a challenging terrain. On July 22 and 23, this section witnessed intensive rainfall of 640 mm in 48 hours, which resulted in landslips.


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Printable version | Sep 23, 2021 6:21:40 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/alert-train-crew-rewarded-for-timely-action/article35525894.ece

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