Railway traffic on the Pathankot-Jammu section was suspended for hours and several trains were reported running behind the schedule after a goods train on its way to Jammu from Delhi derailed near Kathua station early on Sunday morning.
Though no injury was reported in the accident that took place about 5.15am, the schedule of at least 17 trains was hit and were reported running late, according to railway officials.
Three bogies of the goods train were derailed due to a technical snag, claimed the railway authorities, while denying it as a handiwork of terrorists.
As a result of the traffic blockade, many trains were halted at various stations such as Madhopur, Pathankot Cantt, Sujanpur, etc, till the clearance came at 11.15am, said officials, adding the traffic (up and down) was normalise by 4pm.
Earlier in the day, speaking to Hindustan Times, Ashwani Kumar, a senior officer at Pathankot Cantt railway station, said deputy general manager (DGM), Northern Railway, RN Meena, who rushed to the spot from Jammu, was trying to restore the traffic with the help of railway officials and workers.
He told HT that traffic on the Pathankot-Jammu was resumed by 11pm, while on Jammu-Pathnkot section it would be restored by 4pm.
Out of 17 trains to Jammu, three were released as a gap was needed that delayed many trains by hours, he said. By 11.15 am, one track was freed, and they started moving stranded trains at regular intervals, he added.
He told HT that the track was clear by 4pm and the normal traffic was restored.
Passengers left stranded for hours
Meanwhile, passengers had a tough time copying with the unexpected delay as several trains remained stranded at various stations till the first clearance came at 11.15am, however, trains were allowed to move at regular intervals.
Divayansh, a Pathankot resident, who is on his way to Ahmedabad with his family, told HT: “We have been waiting for train at the station for hours and whenever I inquire about the status of my train, the inquire guy asks me to wait for a few more hours. It is causing a lot of inconvenience to my family. We are sweating profusely in the scorching heat, not knowing how long we will have to wait.”
Suresh Kumar from Kangra, who is on his way to Ambala, said passengers like me had been suffering at different stations. “The railway authorities must show promptness in dealing with such a mishap,” he added.