At least eight trains, including the New Delhi-Bhubaneswar Superfast Express and Ranchi-Howrah Intercity, were diverted and many more were delayed under Dhanbad division of East Central Railway on Tuesday after a goods train triggered a rare technical glitch when it suddenly stopped at a faulty signal while approaching Chandrapura junction in Bokaro district.
The 4am incident held up railway traffic for seven hours. Movement of trains resumed at 11am after a team rushed to the spot and shifted the goods train besides fixing the tracks, which also suffered damages.
According to Dhanbad divisional commercial manager Ved Prakash, the entire snag was the fallout of a malfunctioning signal near the Chandrapura junction.
“The goods train was coming from Rajabera when the driver saw the signal around 3km from Chandrapura junction turn red. He stopped the train. When nothing happened after around 10-15 minutes, he contacted Chandrapura officials, who said that they hadn’t give any signal to the train to stop. The driver tried to restart the train but it wouldn’t move,” Prakash said.
On a closer inspection, the driver found that a wheel had suffered a snag. The heat generated when the train came to a sudden halt had melted a portion of the wheel and also the tracks, causing the engine to sink by several inches. “We had to rush in a relief train, which shifted the engine around 17 metres away. Then another engine took away the stranded goods train while our men repaired the tracks,” Prakash added.
The railways had to change the routes of several trains (see chart), which were diverted through Bhandaridah station. Many goods and passenger trains like Patna-Ranchi Janshatabdi were delayed by up to 45 minutes. “This kind of a snag is among the rarest of rare. We are happy that we were finally able to set things right,” Prakash said.