COIMBATORE:Timely action by two loco pilots averted a head-on collision of two trains after they came on the same track due to an error by a pointsman at Uthukuli station near Tirupur at 7.30 am on Sunday. The trains stopped just metres away from each other.
The automatic signal at the station had broken down and while using the manual system, the pointsman made a mistake, railway officials said. Uthukuli station master Mukesh Kumar and pointsman Dilip Kumar have been suspended in this connection and an inquiry initiated.
Salem Divisional Manager Shubhranshu declared rewards for the loco pilots for being vigilant and averting a major tragedy. The pilots are Siva Shanmugamuthu of the Coimbatore-Chennai Intercity Express (No 12680) and
V Chacko of the Hyderabad-Thiruvananthapuram Sabari Express (No 17230). The trains were moving at only 6 km/hour, which made it easy for the loco pilots to stop them. Being off-season, there were only 500 passengers in each of the trains.
The automatic signals at Uthukuli were down on Sunday morning due to a glitch. Dilip Kumar was asked to clamp the tracks manually to align train movement. However, he clamped the track in the wrong direction.