Alert gangmen averted a probable train accident on Friday morning with the timely detection of a major crack on the Mysore-Bangalore railway track. At stake were the lives of 800 passengers on the Mysore-Bangalore Passenger.
Sources at Mandya Railway Station said that the crack between Byadarahalli and Pandavapura stations was spotted during a routine check even as the train crossed Srirangapatna railway station and was to reach the spot, near Lokapavani bridge, a few kilometres away.
The train usually passes the spot around 9.25 a.m. But on Friday, it was running late by a few minutes. Alerted by the gangmen, authorities at Mandya and Srirangapatna stations instructed the engine driver to halt. The train stopped a few metres before the crack at 9.30 a.m., sources added.
Maintenance personnel rushed to the spot and repaired the track by 10.45 a.m., Nisarga H. Malligere, a passenger, told The Hindu. The train reached Mandya at 11.10 a.m., an hour behind schedule, Ms. Nisarga, a journalism student of Mysore University, said. Tracks usually develop cracks due to heat. In any given section, at least one crack is detected every week, an officer at Mandya railway station told The Hindu.
Engine drivers are instructed to travel at 10 km per hour on such sections, he added. However, Friday’s case was different as it was a major crack and the department will ascertain the cause, he said.