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Close shave for Gondwana Exp passengers

By - Posted on November 17, 2008

NAGPUR: A head-on collision between two superfast trains at the Nagpur railway station was averted on Saturday morning. The driver of Gondwana
Express overshot signal number 67 and straightway headed for platform number 6 where Vidarbha Express was standing. Sources said that normally the tracks are circuited through route relay interlocking to avoid this kind of incident.

According to the sources, preliminary investigation has revealed that the data logger failed to show any fault of signalling and the incident occurred due to a fault on the part of the Gondwana Express driver — CC Pail, assistant loco-pilot OP Sharma and the guard D George.

According to available information, 2105 Vidarbha Express Mumbai-Gondia reached Nagpur station in time (8.55 am) at platform number 6 and was scheduled to leave at 9.15 am. However, 2406 Gondwana Nizamuddin-Bhusawal train, which is supposed to arrive Nagpur at 9 am reach late by around 15 minutes.

At 9.15 am, when Vidarbha Express stopped at platform number 6, Gondwana crossed signal number 67, which is considered to be a diamond crossing. However, all trains move at 10 km/h at this point.

Sources told TOI that the driver of Gondawana Express was given the signal and hence the train apparently came to the track where Vidarbha Express was already present.

Sources added that a signal man spotted Gondawana Express coming on the same track where Vidarbha Express was standing. He soon raised an alarm and subsequently, the loco-pilot of Gondawana train applied the break. Later, Gondwana Express took a reverse of around 500 meter and then moved to platform number 5.

Divisional railway manager Ashwani Kumar Kapoor ordered a departmental inquiry into the incident. Several top officials rushed to the station to look into the matter.

Around 11 am, senior divisional safety officer Dr Alok Badkul and senior divisional engineer (TRO) Rajesh Patil recorded the statements of Gondwana Express driver and assistant driver. Similarly, the drivers and assistant drivers also underwent the breath analyser test in presence of senior officials, said a source.

Central railway public relation officer Suhas Lohkare confirmed the incident saying that the Gondwana Express had taken the wrong track and investigation was on. Another inquiry by senior DST (divisional signalling and telecommunication engineer) and junior grade has been ordered into the goof up. Sources said that the probe will be conducted from Monday.

In such cases, a major penalty charge sheet known as ‘standard form five’ (SS5) is issued. “In case charges are proved, even compulsory retirement is granted against those who found guilty,” a source told TOI.

Meanwhile, Vidarbha Express was delayed by 45-50 minutes and many other trains were also affected due to this incident.

A month ago, a similar incident had taken place when Dadar-Nagpur Sewagram Express had entered the pit line instead of taking off the track. However, later it was reverted.