HomeNewsKanchenjunga Express train accident: 26-km diversion for 22 passenger trains

Kanchenjunga Express train accident: 26-km diversion for 22 passenger trains

Headquartered in Guwahati’s Maligaon, Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR), has diverted 22 passenger trains from the stretch where a goods train hit the Sealdah-bound Kanchenjunga Express, killing nine people.

The accident happened in the Rangapani-Chattarhat section of NFR’s Katihar Division on June 17.

Sabyasachi De, NFR spokesperson said the diversion of these trains, including the New Delhi-Dibrugarh Rajdhani Express and the Silchar-Sealdah Kanchanjungha Express, would entail covering 26 km more than the normal route via Rangapani and Chattarhat in West Bengal’s Darjeeling district.

“The Up line (Guwahati-bound) line at the accident site was restored at 5.40 p.m. on June 17 and the Down line (Sealdah/Delhi-bound) was restored at 7.30 a.m. today (June 18). The Avadh Assam Express was the first train to pass the accident site on the Down line at 10.

However, a majority of the trains have been diverted via the Aluabari-Siliguri-New Jalpaiguri route to reduce pressure on the affected stretch and clear the backlog of trains running late or stranded by the mishap.

“Although the stretch has been restored, trains need to cross it at a limited speed. The diversion of most trains is to ensure their running schedule is not affected much,” a railway official said.

The official explained that the ballasts under the tracks normally take 24 hours to stabilise after which trains can run at their normal speed.

Apart from the diversion, the NFR cancelled six trains – two Shatabdis and six of the intercity kind – and rescheduled the New Jalpaiguri-New Delhi Superfast Express.

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Kanchenjunga Express arrives in Sealdah

Meanwhile, Kanchanjungha Express, arrived at Sealdah in Kolkata, its destination station, in the early hours today after the completion of restoration work.

“The 13174 Kanchanjunga Express from Tripura capital Agartala, scheduled to reach Sealdah at 7.20 pm on Monday, arrived at its destination eight hours behind schedule at 3.16 am,” the ER official said.

The hapless passengers, who went through the ordeal and horror of the accident, were provided with medical facilities, food, and water at various stations, including Malda town and also at Sealdah during the journey, he said.

The State’s transport department provided buses and small vehicles to the passengers at Sealdah station to ensure that they reach their homes smoothly, a state government official said.

Kolkata Mayor criticises Centre

Firhad Hakim, Kolkata Mayor interacted with the passengers who came by the train. The Mayor criticised the central government for “not doing anything” over the accident

“This is bad that the Central government is not doing anything. They (the BJP-led Central government) are playing with the lives of the people, they wait for any incident to take place. Why are they not paying attention to this issue, why do they wait for the people to die? This is all because they (the BJP government) want to privatise the Railway,” he added.

Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee also earlier hit out at the central government over its alleged negligence towards Railways. Kanchanjungha Express runs between Silchar in Assam to Sealdah in Kolkata.

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(With inputs from ANI, PTI)



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