Rail coaches start moving on their own, 4 derailed

चंडीगढ Chandigarh (CDG): In a bizarre incident, 12 rail coaches stationed in a rail yard near the Chandigarh railway station without any locomotive attached started moving automatically on Sunday morning, travelled for 800 metres, hit the buffer stop and then four of these got derailed.

“The standby coaches, which also included a few of the Shatabdi Express, were stationed in the yard near the washing line. They rolled down suddenly and moved to a distance of nearly 800 metres after which four got derailed. However, no one was hurt, and no rail traffic was affected as the incident did not happen on the main line,” said R K Datta, station superintendent.

Railway officials said that air brakes had been applied in all coaches when these were parked there in November. Apparently, the brakes became loose in more than a month that the coaches were there. Besides, “miscreants’’, it seems, removed wooden stoppers from front of the wheels.

Since the service line is on an incline, the coaches started rolling under their own weight. They smashed the buffer stop, four coaches got derailed and fell into a ditch, but the impact broke the momentum and the other coaches came to a halt, said an official.

A K Kathpal, Divisional Railway Manager, Ambala Division, said a three-member technical team had been asked to conduct an inquiry and submit a report within 10 days. Two railway officials of the operating department, including a yard master, had been suspended for negligence in securing the coaches.

Last month, in a similar incident, a major tragedy was averted at the railway station after the vacuum brakes of Unchahar Express (Chandigarh-Allahabad) stationed at platform number 2 were accidentally released, as a result of which the stationary train, which was packed with passengers, started moving on its own on the main railway line. The train almost crossed the main platform before being brought to a halt by railway officials who placed bricks and wooden logs on the tracks.