Alert railway driver spots crack, averts mishap

Dharmapuri: A major train accident was averted near Dharmapuri on Sunday morning after a crack that developed on the railway track between Palacode and Marandahalli in Dharmapuri district was spotted in time. The pilot of a passenger train reported to railway officials after he heard an unusual sound coming from the track while he passed through the damaged area, railway sources said.

A passenger train was plying between Yashwantpur near Bangalore and Salem railway junction. “The train usually leaves Salem railway junction at 5.20am and reaches Yashwantpur at 11am. It departs from Yashwantpur at 3.45pm and reaches Salem at 9.30pm,” said an officer from Salem railway division. On Sunday, the train was heading towards Yashwantpur when the pilot noticed the anomaly. “The pilot immediately informed Rayakottai railway station,” the officer said.

Railway officials found a crack on the track due to bolt damage. A bolt was fitted to connect tracks and the track was welded along with the clamp. But the bolt was damaged due to poor maintenance. When the train was crossing that particular area, the welding was damaged, resulting in a crack on the track, the officer said.

Technical staff sent from Bangalore repaired the track. Traffic was held up for about an hour and many trains between Bangalore and Salem were rescheduled.