Following a Maoist threat, the movement of trains between Howrah/Sealdah and various parts of north India, including New Delhi, came to a standstill for over eight hours, leaving passengers harried.
Railway officials said about two dozen trains were stranded at various stations or re-routed after the cabin man of Bhaluhi railway halt on the Danapur-Howrah section was threatened and forced by Maoists to stop signalling.
This railway halt falls in Jamui district of south eastern Bihar, which has for long been a hotbed of violent Maoist activity.
East Central Railway Zone chief public relations officer Arvind Rajak said 10 Maoists accosted cabin man Dinesh Arya around 10.30 on Friday night.
The Maoist action came amid a call for bandh given by the ultras in several states, including Bihar, Jharkhand and Chattisgarh, to protest anti-Maoist operations, particularly in Chattisgarh.
The movement of trains was restored by about 7 am on Saturday, after CRPF personnel inspected the track. A goods train was run on the track to ensure it was safe for passenger trains.
Confirming the incident, additional director general of police (railways) KS Dwivedi said when he got the call, he immediately alerted IG (operations) and SPs of Jamui and adjoining Lakhisarai to take action.
Among the long distance trains which remained stranded were the Howrah-Amritsar Mail, Howrah-Danapur Express and Farakka Express.
Vibhuti Express and Howrah-New Delhi Poorva Express had to be re-routed from Asansol to reach Mughalsarai via Gaya.