Bengaluru: SWR begins probe after train passes open railway crossing at Yelahanka | Bengaluru News – Times of India

BENGALURU: South Western Railway (SWR) has begun a probe into an incident in which a train carrying ballast passed an open level-crossing gate at Yelahanka on Sunday.
Level-crossing gates are kept closed during train movement to prevent vehicles from crossing the tracks.
Sources said a major tragedy was averted on Yelahanka-Bangarpet section at around 1pm on Sunday, thanks to an alert loco pilot and motorists near the railway- crossing gate. The loco pilot kept honking and then slowed down and stopped the train well past the level-crossing, while some motorists near the gate alerted others about the approaching train.
A video of the incident shot by a motorist went viral on social media. Many blamed the gateman and railway officials for the negligence.
However, SWR officials said the airport rail section is closed as there are no train movements and, hence, a gateman wasn’t posted there. “We will post a gateman once train movements are restored,” said an official.
“If gone unnoticed, it would have led to a major accident. Considering the level-crossing was open, motorists would have driven through without noticing the train. This could have led to a collision. Action should be initiated against the erring officials,” said a motorist in the area.
SWR chief public relations officer Aneesh Hegde said: “This is Yelahanka-Bangarpet section via Kolar. Currently, trains are not running in this section (neither passenger, nor goods trains), except maintenance machines and ballast trains. The train seen in the video is a material train carrying ballast. The loco pilot has followed precautions of slowing down, whistling frequently as per rules (‘Caution Order’ is a notice for observing speed restrictions and whistling had been issued to him as per rules since gateman was not posted). An enquiry is ordered consisting of four senior officers of administrative grade to probe into the issue, fix responsibility as per rules. It is not a case of an averted accident. But, it is an unusual incident, and based on findings of the enquiry committee suitable measures will be put in place to address errors – human or technical. The engine maintains records of speed etc which will be verified by the committee of officers”.
However, another railway official said: “There are different aspects to this. Ideally, the train should have stopped before the level-crossing, but then it moved a little further and stopped after the loco pilot applied the emergency brake. Now, train movement on this route has reduced due to lesser traffic after Covid-19, so a gateman may not have been deployed there. Only a thorough investigation will tell.”
When it is an interlocked gate, the signal doesn’t turn green if the gate is open. However, this particular one was not an interlocked one.

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