Three Railway Staff Rewarded for their Swift Action in Averting Disastrous Train Accident

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Three Railway Staff Rewarded for their Swift Action in Averting Disastrous Train Accident

Mangaluru: Recalling the incident that took place last Friday, where due to heavy rains in the past few days, a landslide between Dudhsagar and Sonaulim railway stations in the State of Goa, on the South Western Railway (SWR) route caused the derailment of 01134 Mangaluru Junction-CSMT Mumbai train, but no casualties were reported in the incident. Sources reveal that another landslide occurred at the same section between Dudhsagar and Caranzol railway station around the same time. SWR officials said that the Mangaluru-Mumbai train was running on the diverted route on SWR when the engine and the first coach derailed. Passengers of the derailed coaches were shifted to other coaches and the train pulled back to Kulem railway station.

The 02780 Nizamuddin-Vasco train was detained between Dudhsagar and Caranzol station and later brought to Castlerock railway station. Transshipment of passengers was being done by buses to various locations. Track restoration work has been undertaken. But three staff of the railways have been commended for their swift action in averting a disastrous train accident on that day.

M’luru-Mumbai Train Derails near Dudhsagar/Goa due to Landslide- Mumbai Trains from City Cancelled

As per railways source, General Manager Shri Gajanan Mallya has appreciated the presence of mind, swift action by the Loco Pilot, Asst Loco Pilot and Guard of the Train No 01134 (Mangaluru Jn – Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus, Mumbai). He has also announced a cash award to recognize their good deed. On 23 July 2021, at about 6.10 AM, while driving the engine of this train from Kulem towards Castle Rock (up the Ghat), at km 39/800 near Dudhsagar-Sonaulim section, the Locopilot of the leading engine Ranjeet Kumar observed that the mud was slipping ahead on the track from the sidewalls of the hill beside the track, due to continuous very heavy rainfall. Sensing danger, he immediately applied emergency brakes and brought the train to a stop.

Due to mud and soil mixed with boulders on the track, the engine derailed along with two sets of wheels, despite the immediate braking. He informed the Station Master of Dudhsagar about the same, to give a message to the Control Office, Hubballi. Upon noticing the emergency brake being applied, the Guard of the train Shailder Kumar applied hand brakes to the Brake Van, which is situated rearmost of the train and then proceeded to the engine. Parallel the Guard and Loco pilot instructed the Assistant Loco pilots of the leading and banking engines to place detonators at a stipulated distance on the track at both rear and front, and also secured the train by tying chains to the track, placing wheel-skids, etc. as per standard safety protocol.

Ranjeet and Shailender noticed that from the steep cutting of the hill beside the track, slush and mud were also falling on the coaches immediately rear to the front engine. In order to ensure the protection of passengers, they shifted the passengers from the first three coaches to the rear coaches and un-coupled these coaches from the rest of the train. Displaying alertness, and presence of mind, the crew took instruction from their senior Officers in Hubballi Divisional Control Office and utilized the rear (banking) engine to pull the train with 345 passengers back to Kulem Station. The Guard Shailender Kumar accompanied along with Locopilot SD Meena, Assistant Loco Pilot SK Saini to take the train safely, with passengers to Kulem, while Ranjeet Kumar and his Assistant Hashid K stayed back with the derailed engine near the spot to assist in restoration.

The Castle Rock – Kulem Ghat section is 27 km long: it is a single line rail section passing through western Ghats in the uninhabited territory through forested areas. The entire Ghat section has a steep gradient (1 in 37) and trains are pushed with engines in the rear (for providing sufficient horsepower) in addition to the engines in front. The stations between Castle Rock and Kulem, namely Caranzol, Dudhsagar and Sonaulim are connected only by rail with no road connectivity. This is challenging terrain. On 22 July and 23 July, this section witnessed an intense rainfall of 640 mm in 48 hours, which resulted in a landslide.

For displaying courage and exemplary presence of mind in taking swift action to shift passengers to safer coaches, and transport the train back to Kulem, the General Manager SWR Gajanan Mallya has appreciated the Crew and announced a cash reward as a sign of encouragement. The Crew of this train, have acted as ‘first responder’ at the site, even before the rescue team arrived, resulting in saving the lives of passengers.


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1 Comment

  1. Really commendable job by the railway men though I do not get a clear picture ofthe scenario.
    QQ: why detonators are to be kept on the track? Any knowledgeable readers pl?

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