Rajdhani runs without driver for 15 km
RATNAGIRI/ NEW DELHI: 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 15km.
A staffer of the Hindustan Times— travelling on the train— reported that the engine developed a fault and stopped inside a long tunnel near the Ratnagiri station around 5.50 pm. Even as technicians attempted to fix the problem, the train started moving. According to unconfirmed reports, the train driver was in the guard’s cabin at that point and was able to jump on to the engine after the train slowed down near an upward incline.
Even as senior officials said that the train ran “driver-less” for some time, Konkan Railway chairman and managing director, Sanjay Gupta, asserted such reports were wrong. However, he confirmed that a “loco failure” had happened, saying the “train did roll for some time”. “A high level inquiry has been ordered,” he said.
The engine’s vacuum brake had deactivated, resulting in the train moving on a downward slope. When the train slowed at an upward incline, the driver applied the brakes and stopped it. Finally, another engine arrived and dragged the train to Chiplun – the next station. No casualty or loss of life was reported.