BENGALURU: The Yeshwantpur-Bidar Express with over 600 passengers on board escaped from a suspected sabotage attempt on the tracks on Saturday night, say railway officials.
As the train approached Yelahanka at 7.23 pm, the wheels of the train hit four fish plates and a rail piece found scattered on the track, said a top RPF official. The engine was damaged and the train was stopped immediately. The role of miscreants is suspected, he added.
Fishplates play a crucial role in keeping the tracks intact. Rail tracks come in pieces and are welded together to make them a single line. After the welding is done, a bar with many bolts in it is used on both sides of the track to secure the welded portion as an additional safety measure, explained Senior Divisional Commercial Manager (SDCM) Bengaluru Division, N R Sridhara Murthy.
“This figures among the rarest of rare incidents and probably takes place once or twice a year in our Division. We are suspecting it to be an act of sabotage. The Government Railway Police is now carrying out an inquiry into it,” he said.
On the danger to lives of passengers, he said, “There is always the possibility of a derailment taking place due to the obstructions and endangering passenger lives. Thankfully, only the tank of the engine was damaged in this incident.”
Another engine was brought from Yelahanka and the train was taken to the station at 8.25 pm, said an RPF official.
Elaborating on the damage to the engine, a GRP police official said the air tanks in the engine suffered holes. “If a train runs in this condition, the air pressure becomes low and the train will invariably come to a halt. So, the train was not run.”
Meanwhile, Senior Divisional Security Commissioner of RPF, M Suresh, conducted inspections along the track on Sunday night to identify suspects who could have indulged in the act.
“A group of young boys was found late at night on the tracks. We have arrested two people found drunk on charges on consumption of alcohol while on railway tracks,” he said.