CHENNAI: The loco pilots, who drove the Bangalore-bound Hampi Express train that collided with a stationary goods train at Anantapur district in Andhra Pradesh on Tuesday, were fatigued because of extended working hours, the All India Loco Running Staff Association claimed.
Examining the circumstances that led to the accident, L Mony, national president of the association, in a statement said that till 2009 loco pilots based at Guntakal would operate the train between Dharmavaram and Guntakal. But following the extension of the crew links till Bangalore, loco pilots based at Bangalore were running the train for its entire journey, resulting in 10 hours of work at a stretch which would cause fatigue.
The Guntakal-based loco pilots, he said, have to work in trains going in the directions of Bangalore, Solapur, Guntakal, Hubli, Renigunta and Secundrabad while loco pilots in Bangalore have to work in trains moving towards Guntakal, Arasikare, Mysore, Erode and Chennai. “They happened to work in a particular direction only once in 30 or 40 days and so familiarity of the rail road is lost,” he said.