Iron rod found on train tracks between Vasai and Nallasopara

The timely intervention of an alert train motorman averted a major mishap between Vasai and Nallasopara stations on Saturday night, after he spotted a metal rod on tracks. Motorman Nitin Chandanshive, applied the emergency brakes in the nick of time after seeing the rod as the train was nearing Nallasopara.

According to The Times of India, commuters from Vasai on board were travelling to Churchgate. The rod was handed over to the Railway Protection Force (RPF), after Chandanshive and guard Ramvachan Singh made it certain that the rod was taken off the tracks.

Investigations are currently ongoing in the matter. Railway officials feel the rod may belong to a construction site as there have been repairs being undertaken in a nearby bridge.

This isn't the first time that an iron rod was discovered on train tracks. A bet made by a jail inmate with drug addicts, saying he would give them Rs 2,000 if they placed an iron rod on tracks to derail a train, was behind what became known as a case of railway sabotage in Diva.

The Mumbra police arrested the five drug addicts. A major tragedy was averted on Jan 24 this year, when an iron rod 6.32 m in length was found on the tracks on the Diva-Panvel route. A motorman saw it and stopped the train.

A few days after the police arrested them, two other drug addicts were arrested for the same reason — an iron beam was allegedly thrown by them on rail tracks. The 9 feet long iron beam was found on the railway track between Reay Road and Dockyard Road stations, and a major tragedy was averted as the alert motorman of a train, Anandkumar Upreti, saw it and stopped. But as the train was speeding, three coaches ran over it.

But the case became more complicated following that. The GRP expressed doubts if the five that the Mumbra police apprehended in the case are the ones involved in the sabotage — one of the biggest reasons being different mobile tower locations of the five at the time of the incident.

While one's was in Nashik, location of four people came up as Mumbra near the incident spot an hour before the crime happened. And it's also come to light that these four, who were near the spot, aren't the ones who have been arrested.

A senior railway police officer investigating the case said, "The GRP investigated and found no evidence against them. After the 10.23 pm train passed, the motorman of the 10.36 pm train saw the rod. He didn't see any person around. So, the accused, who said they were drunk and under the influence of drugs, had 13 minutes to place the rod on the track in perfect alignment. How did they manage in such a state?" asked the officer.