Running after train racing past City station

Running after train racing past City station

Freak incident

It was one express train that did not take some people, patiently awaiting its arrival at a station here, for a ride.

The driver of the train, manned by a crew of helpers and engineers, simply forgot to stop at the Bangalore East station on Thursday morning. When those waiting at the station watched the train race past, they gave it a hot chase, running after it for a distance before realising that their hopes had been dashed.

The 6322 Dn express train, which originated at Thiruvananthapuram, was on its last leg, hauling hundreds of passengers to Bangalore. It zipped past Bangalore East at a speed of 60 kmph.

Speaking to Deccan Herald about the freak incident, station clerk Purushothaman Nair, who also doubles up as the station master, said it was the driver’s responsibility to have slowed the train and brought it to a complete halt at the station. Since Bangalore East is a CNC (clerk in-charge) station, it was not the station master’s duty to turn the signal red.

“Usually, a Class IV staff is supposed to help turn the signal — green or red — depending upon what train approaches the station.”

But there are no such staff at Bangalore East where I and some of my subordinates sit at the ticket counter besides taking care of other duties,” Nair said.

The train from Thiruvananthapuram sped past a platform at the station around 9:20 on Thursday. The staff at the station thought the train would stop, as it does each time it approaches Bangalore East on its weekly trip. As the 18-coach train chugged past, people at the platform, mostly relatives and friends who had come to receive some of the passengers, were caught unawares.

Some started running after the train, while others, who were too stunned to even move, took out their cellphones to call up their relatives or friends on the recalcitrant rake. A number of people ran to the parking lot, got into their vehicles to drive down to catch up with the train at the next station, Cantonment. Several took public transport to reach Cantonment or Bangalore Central stations.

“We were at our wit’s end to pacify the people who were, needless to say, quite upset,” Nair said.

Anitha, who was on the train with her child, said she was a little scared when the train did not halt at the scheduled stop. “I had been advised by my husband to detrain at Bangalore East since he would wait for me there. But he caught up with the train by which time it had terminated its journey at Bangalore Central,” Anitha said.

For South Western Railway officials, it seems, such freak incidents do happen once in a while. “It was the driver’s responsibility to stop since it is a CNC station,” SWR officer said, promising “stern action” against the driver for dereliction of duty.

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