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New Delhi To Kanpur Train 'Hijacked'

Two drivers not authorised to drive high speed trains 'hijacked' one from New Delhi to Kanpur on Wednesday night, their colleagues originally assigned to take the train to Ranchi told presspersons. The driver and his co-driver stopped the authorised drivers from entering the engine cabin and drove off in what appears to be some kind of rivalry between drivers of different divisions of the railways.

The Ranchi-bound Gareeb Rath Express, which can reach a maximum speed of 130 km/hr, was driven 400 km to Kanpur by Harswarup, who is certified to drive trains not capable of exceeding 110 km/hr. Not only this, his co-driver, Rameshwar (who goes by only first name), too is not certified to drive a train like the Gareeb Rath, said the authorised drivers Shafi Ahmed and Manoj (who goes by only first name). However, A.S. Negi, PRO of Northern Railways, claimed the two drivers were certified to drive the train. Harswarup and Rameshwar belong to Northern Railways, while Ahmed and Manoj are from North Central Railways. Railway officials said trains such as the Rajdhani Express, Shatabdi Express and Gareeb Rath Express are capable of touching 130 km/hr, and only drivers certified by the railways' Research Design Standards Organisation are permitted to drive such trains. After being thrown out of the cabin, a stunned Ahmed and Manoj reached Kanpur by another train and told presspersons about the goof-up. The Gareeb Rath, with nearly 1,300 passengers, was taken safely to Ranchi by another crew, railway officials told HT. Amit Malviya, PRO of North Central Railways said, "The two other drivers were deployed by the drivers' lobby under Northern Railways that led to the misunderstanding among the drivers."

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