A major train mishap was averted on the busy Lucknow-Rae Bareli route on Friday after miscreants cut around 50cm of railway track between Kankaha and Mohanlalganj stations, around 30km from Lucknow.
The matter came to light around 2:30am when an alert driver sensed some abnormality in the tracks during the train movement and reported it to the station master, suggesting immediate checking of the railway track between both the stations. “An unusual sound in the wheels made me suspicious. I somehow crossed the track and on reaching Mohanlalganj, I examined the train and found oil leak in the engine. I informed the station master at once,” said KK Verma, loco pilot of Prayag—Lucknow Express.
The station master informed the headquarters and the engineering division immediately arrived to check the track. Officials and engineers learnt that around 50cm of the railway track was missing. “It’s a good portion of track that was missing. It was something very serious, which we haven’t experienced in our entire service so far,” a senior officer said.
Officials further said they were surprised that the Prayag-Lucknow Express did not derail and managed to pass through the track.
Senior divisional security commissioner, Hemant Kumar, sounded high alert. Dog squads and local police rushed to the site to look into the matter. “It was intentional and we have found a blade from the site as well. It clearly shows that it’s not a natural rail fracture,” said Hemant Kumar, senior divisional security commissioner.
Officers said the incident may have occurred between 2:06am and 2:47am as the last train -- special train from Varanasi to Jodhpur -- that crossed the same site at 2:06am, didn’t experience any problem.
AK Lhoti, divisional railway manager (DRM), NR Lucknow told HT that the alert driver helped in averting the mishap. “Around 6 trains from Lucknow and Rae Bareli were stopped for carrying out repair work of the track. Train movement was restored around 7:30am,” said AK Lahoti, DRM NR Lucknow. He said an inquiry has been ordered into the incident.