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Saturday, March 2, 2024

Loco Pilots Abandon Trains, Leaving Passengers Stranded

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Passengers on two trains, the Saharsa-New Delhi Special Fare Chhath Puja Special (04021) and the Barauni-Lucknow Junction Express (15203), found themselves stranded at Burhwal railway station in Barabanki. The loco pilots of both trains walked off, citing reasons such as the completion of duty hours and discomfort, leaving the passengers without water, food, or power supply.

Frustrated passengers, facing the lack of amenities, staged a protest and even blocked the movement of an express train by coming onto the rail track. This incident, which occurred on Wednesday, created a challenge for North Eastern Railway (NER) officials as they had to quickly secure replacement loco pilots to resume the journey to Lucknow.

NER confirmed the incident in a statement, stating that prompt arrangements were made to ensure the safe continuation of the journey to Lucknow. The Saharsa-New Delhi Special (04021), originally scheduled to depart on November 27 at 7:15 pm, left Saharsa on November 28 at 9:30 am and reached Gorakhpur over 19 hours behind schedule.

The Barauni-Lucknow Junction Express (15203), already delayed by more than five hours and 30 minutes, reached Burhwal junction at 4:04 pm. Passengers witnessed the train staff leaving the locomotive engine, and visuals from Burhwal junction showed passengers blocking the rail track, demanding a resolution for the delayed 04021 express.

Railway officials explained that the loco pilot’s duty hours were completed due to delays in the train schedule, leading to the deployment of an alternate loco pilot. The train remained halted for approximately two hours until a second loco pilot from the Amrapali train arrived to take over the duties and resume the journey. The incident highlighted the apparent lack of preparedness on the part of the railway, causing agitation among passengers.

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