Train engine runs 13km without pilot, staff chases it down on bike
An electric train engine travelled for about 13km without a loco pilot in Maharashtra, India, before it was chased down on a motorcycle and stopped.
The incident took place after the electric engine was replaced with a diesel-run one on a train that had to travel a stretch of non-electrified track.
Mirroring a script straight out of the Denzel Washington-starrer Unstoppable, a railways employee caught up with the engine on a motorcycle, jumped on and stopped it.
Trouble started after the Chennai-Mumbai train arrived at Wadi junction around 3pm on Wednesday, where its electric engine was to swapped for a diesel one, railway officials said. The route from Wadi to Solapur in Maharashtra is not electrified.
The diesel engine was attached to the Mumbai train which continued its journey to Solapur, the officials said. In the meantime, due to what is being described as a slip-up, the disengaged electric engine started moving on its own after the loco pilot alighted from it.
As the stunned pilot looked on, the Wadi station authorities alerted the next few stations to clear signals and tracks. To prevent any possible mishap, trains from the opposite direction were also stopped, the officials said.
As the electric engine cruised, the railways staff gave a chase on a motorbike, managed to board it when it slowed and stopped it near Nalwar. By then, the engine had run for about 13 kilometres.
It was not exactly known how the electric engine began to move, the officials said, adding, an inquiry by a special team was underway.