India train travels 160km in 'wrong direction'

India train travels 160km in 'wrong direction'
Source: BBC
Date: 23-11-2017 Time: 04:11:49:pm

A group of Indian farmers say they woke up shocked to find that the train they were travelling on had sped 160km (99 miles) in the "wrong direction".

About 1,500 farmers were travelling overnight to the western state of Maharashtra after taking part in a protest rally in Delhi.

But several hours into their journey, the group realised that the chartered train was not following the agreed route.

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The railway firm denies the allegation.

The farmers said that the train was due to reach Maharashtra via Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Gujarat states, but the route had been changed without their knowledge.

"We started the journey at 10pm on Tuesday and reached Mathura in Uttar Pradesh state past midnight. At around 4am, we realised that the train had reached the central state of Madhya Pradesh, which wasn't on our agreed route," Sagar Shambhushete, who was on the train, told the BBC.

Mr Shambhushete said they stopped the train and started protesting at a small station called Banmore in Madhya Pradesh.

"Our lives were at risk. The train was on a wrong route, an accident could have happened. We agreed to get back on the train after the railway authorities promised us that we were safe," he said.

But railway officials say the farmers' safety was never at risk.

"Special trains are run through a route which is conveniently available to the railway operation. The passengers might have felt confused because of the different route used in their return journey. There was no negligence and diversion," the railways said in a statement.

But this is not the only time Indian trains have ended up at unexpected destinations. Here are a few more instances.

The engine that ran away

One railway engine made a break for it in the southern Indian state of Karnataka last week and managed to make it 13km (eight miles) before its panicked driver, who had been chasing it on a motorcycle, finally caught up with it.

Newspaper reports said that the "dramatic chase" ended when the train, which had been moving at a speed of about 30km/h finally slowed down.

It is unclear how the train started moving on its own, but reports said it had been uncoupled from a passenger train and had been stationary on the tracks when the driver got off. Fortunately an accident was averted thanks to quick thinking officials who notified stations ahead to stop trains coming in the opposite direction.

An inquiry has been ordered into the incident.

Holy shock

A group of about 1,000 furious pilgrims, who were travelling to the northern Indian city of Varanasi from the southern city of Tirupati in 2011, suddenly found themselves at a station 260km away from where they were supposed to be.

Railway officials were only alerted to the error when the passengers stormed the station master's office in Kazipet in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh, demanding an explanation.

The train was routed back to Vijayawada, where the mistake had taken place, so that it could be rerouted to its original path.

Passengers said that although the journey had been "harrowing" they were relieved that the train route was corrected, and they did not collide with any other trains while travelling for so long in the wrong direction.

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