Inquiry on prolonged stoppage of goods train near Sirkazhi

A local pilot of a goods train caused a flutter by stopping the train in the middle of the track, apparently due to work stress, near Sirkazhi on Thursday night.

As a result, a few express trains were delayed.

The loco pilot, Muthuraja, stopped the train near Vaitheeswaran Koil railway station, reportedly after 12 continuous hours of work. He was said to have relented only after two hours.

The crew was changed for the goods train at Mayiladuthurai station.

A senior railway official said an inquiry would be conducted into the incident.

Running duty of loco and running staff, as per HOER (Hours of Employment and Period of Rest Rules), should not ordinarily exceed 10 hours at a stretch. Those who perform 12 hours of duty are entitled to claim rest provided the Section Controller gives notice before completion of eight hours of running duty.

There is also a provision in HOER that if there is no relief at the location where the crew completes 12 hours of continuous duty, the staff will be required to work for an hour more to reach the crew changing station.

In this case, the loco pilot, who had been in regular service in the circuit, stopped the train due to a communication gap, the official added.

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