The failure of the eastern power grid took a toll on movement of passenger and goods trains on the Kharagpur-Tatanagar-Chakradharpur section of South Eastern Railways (SER) for nearly three hours from 1pm on Tuesday.
Trains had to be stopped at different stations, resulting in misery for passengers.
Trains that were stranded at Tatanagar railway station included Tata-Dhanbad Swarnarekha Express, Tata-Asansol Passenger and the Tata-Jasidih Passenger. All three trains were supposed to leave Tatanagar between 1.15am and 1.45pm.
A section of passengers of Tata-Dhanbad Swarnarekha Express went berserk when they came to know about the disruption of train services through the public address system.
A few passengers including women went in front of the office of the station manager demanding cancellation of tickets. They went back to their seats only after intervention of local railway officials, who expressed their helplessness over the situation.
Chaotic scenes were also witnessed near the enquiry counter as harried passengers tried to find out when train services would be regularised. Extra staff was deployed at the enquiry counter to cater to the queries.
It was only after 4pm the three passenger trains, which were already delayed by around three hours, left for their onward journey. The Howrah-bound Duronto Express and Ispat Express, which remained stranded at Chakradharpur, reached Tatanagar three hours behind schedule.
South Eastern Railway ran a special train between Kharagpur and Tatanagar on Tuesday evening for the convenience of stranded passengers. The Howrah-Mumbai Gitanjali Express had to be short terminated at Santragachi. Officials at the Garden Reach headquarters of SER in Calcutta said trains were stopped at larger stations so that the passengers had access to food and water.
“Normal traffic was restored in Chakradharpur railway division at 4pm,” a spokesperson said.
According to the spok esperson, all important mail/express trains which were stalled at mid-section were hauled by diesel engines to important stations like Santragachi for dispersal of passengers.
A senior railway official at Tatanagar Rajeshwar Choudhary revealed that such a railway disruption due to power grid failure was witnessed way back in 2001. At that time movement of trains in Chakradharpur, Ranchi and Adra sections under SER had come to a grinding halt for more than four hours.