SWR GM Shri Gajanan Mallya appreciated the Presence of mind, Swift action by the Loco Pilot, Asst Loco Pilot, and Guard of the Train No 01134 (Mangalore Jn – Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus, Mumbai) that derailed near Dudhsagar on July 23. He also announced a Cash Award to recognize their good deed.
The Crew of the Mangalore Mumbai train, have acted as ‘First Responder’ at the site, even before the Rescue Team arrived, resulting in saving the lives of passengers.
On 23rd June at about 6.10 AM, the Locopilot of the leading engine Ranjeet Kumar observed that the Mud was slipping ahead on the track from the sidewalls of the hill. The train was moving towards Castle Rock (from the Kulem side) on the Dudhsagar – Sonaulim section.
Sensing danger, he immediately applied Emergency Brakes and brought the train to a stop. Due to mud and soil mixed boulders on the track, the Engine got derailed along with 2 sets of wheels, despite the immediate braking.
Locopilot Ranjeet Kumar informed the Station Master of Dudhsagar about the incident and asked to give the message to Control Office, Hubballi. Upon noticing the Emergency Brake being applied, the Guard of the train Shri Shailder Kumar applied Hand brakes to the Brake Van, which is situated at the rearmost part of the train, and proceeded towards the engine.
Parallelly the Guard and Locopilot instructed the Assistant Locopilots of the Leading and Banking engines to place detonators at stipulated distance on the track at both rear & front. They also secured the train by tying Chains to the Track, Placing wheel-skids, etc as per standard Safety Protocol.
Ranjeet and Shailender noticed that Slush and Mud was falling on the first 3 coaches. To ensure the safety of passengers, they shifted them 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 the Kulem Station.
The Guard Shailender Kumar along with Locopilot SD Meena, Assistant Loco Pilot Shri SK Saini took the passengers safely to Kulem, while Ranjeet Kumar and his Assistant Hashid K stayed back with the derailed engine near the spot to assist the restoration process.
The Castle Rock – Kulem Ghat section is 27 km long. The section is a single line track passing through the mighty Western Ghats in the uninhabited territory through a thick forest area. The entire Ghat section has a steep gradient of 1 in 37. The trains are pushed with engines in the rear (to provide sufficient power) in addition to the engines in front.
The Castle Rock and Kulem section witnessed an intense rainfall of 640 mm in 48 hours, which resulted in a landslide. The section is a Challenging terrain as the stations in between, namely Caranzol, Dudhsagar & Sonaulim are connected only by Rail with no road connectivity.
The crew displayed Courage and an Exemplary presence of mind in taking swift action to shift passengers to safer coaches. And transported them safely to Kulem. SWR GM Shri Gajanan Mallya has appreciated the Crew and announced a cash reward as a sign of encouragement.