BENGALURU: It was a unique experience for Loco Pilot S Murugeshan and Senior Assistant Loco Pilot Rajesh Kumar. For the first time, they were donning face masks, gloves and had liters of sanitizer lotion around as they were getting ready to steer the first Superfast train to New Delhi from KSR railway station.
They will be steering the first passenger train (Train no. 02491) departing from the station since March 23. It will reach New Delhi on Thursday at 5.55 am.
57-year-old Murugeshan was not the least unnerved by it. "I have been at the driver’s wheel for the Rajdhani Express heading to Delhi for the last four years. So, this is a route I am very familiar with. Only the occasion is a bit different," this driver with 32 years experience told The New Indian Express.
The maximum permissible speed along this route has been given as 110 mph. "Since this is the first superfast train to be run during this lockdown, we will be given careful instructions on a frequent basis from the Station Controller office. We will go by them," he said.
The duo will drive for nearly five hours on this non-stop train. 30-year-old Kumar, with seven years of experience behind him, told TNIE, "There will be stopover at Guntal for change of crew. We will hand over the train to crew from that Division then."
Kumar added that due to the fear factor surrounding the coronavirus, they were being very careful to take sufficient precautions.
Both of them have been driving a bit during the lockdown steering railway staff to Jolarpet and Mysuru stations for carrying out infrastructure work.