Passengers on the Madgaon-Nizamuddin Rajdhani had a providential escape on Monday, as the train engine developed a snag and was reported to have run “driver-less” on a downward slope for about 15 kilometers.
A staffer of the Hindustan Times – travelling on the train – reported that the train engine developed a fault and stopped inside a long tunnel around 5.50 pm near the Ratnagiri station. Even as the technicians were attempting to fix the problem, the train started moving. According to unconfirmed reports, the driver of the train was in the Guard’s cabin at that time and was able to jump up on the engine after the train slowed down near an upward incline.
Even as senior officials confirmed that the train did run “driver-less” for some time, Konkan Railway Chairman and Managing Director Sanjay Gupta asserted that such reports were wrong. He, however, confirmed to the “loco failure” , saying that the “train did roll for some time”. A high level inquiry has been ordered”, Gupta said.
Apparently, the engine’s vacuum brake had become de-activated, resulting the progress of the train on a downward slope. When the train slowed down at an upward incline, the driver applied the brakes and stopped the train. Finally, another engine arrived and dragged the train to Chiplun – the next station.
No casualty or loss of life has been reported.