The abandoned bike on the Sealdah Rajdhani Express tracks near Gomoh on Wednesday. (Gautam Dey)
The Sealdah Rajdhani Express (12314) en route to Calcutta was delayed by 90 minutes on Wednesday after the train hit a motorbike abandoned on the tracks by the vehicle owner at Gomoh, 34km from Dhanbad railway station.
The incident, which took place around 6.20am at an unauthorised crossing between Bholidih halt and Gomoh railway station, damaged the train’s cowcatcher — the pointed metal frame attached in front to clear obstacles — as the bike got entangled in it.
A Railway Protection Force (RPF) escort party on-board managed to extricate the bike from the cowcatcher around 6.45am after which the train reached the Gomoh station at 6.59am, nearly an hour behind its scheduled arrival (6.03am).
The down Sealdah Rajdhani Express finally left for Calcutta at 7.59am, an hour and a half behind its scheduled departure (6.29am) after the engine of the train was replaced.
Sunil Karn, the in-charge of Gomoh RPF police, said they had seized the two-wheeler and lodged a case against an unidentified person.
He added the bike owner could not be identified yet, as the number plate was also badly damaged in the incident.
However, a few eyewitnesses, who did not want to be named, said the bike belonged to one Tinku Thakur, 30, a resident of Korkata locality in Topchanchi. They said the biker was returning home after taking a dip in the Damodar River at dawn on the occasion of Kartik Purnima.
As the crossing where the mishap took place was unauthorised, it was not manned either, said Ved Prakash, senior divisional operating manager (Dhanbad) of East Central Railway (ECR).
“It was a simple case of trespassing, as the biker was his own safety as well as that of the passengers into his hand,” he told The Telegraph.
ECR senior divisional commercial manager (Dhanbad) Dayanand said, “Apart from the cowcatcher of the train, the engine was also damaged. As a result, it was replaced with the engine of the Barkakana-Gomoh passenger train which pulled in at 6.50am.”
He added the biker might have tried to cross the tracks by dragging the two-wheeler and left it at the last minute seeing the train.
“Besides the 90-minute delay, the passengers faced no other difficulty as all facilities were available in the train and they were told about the replacement of the engine at Gomoh,” said Dayanand.