In a funny but totally-could-have-been-way-worse story, a train managed to get away from its staffers during a routine stop at a railway junction in India. The train stopped to have its power supply swapped from electric to diesel when the diesel engine suddenly sputtered into life and began powering the engine.
The train soon started rolling forward but without any staff onboard. Rapidly accelerating trains with no one aboard them to work the brakes are known by those in the industry as a “serious problem” and thus someone had to step up to deal with the dangerous situation.
A member of staff hopped on a bike and began chasing the train. The crazy part is that he didn’t catch up with it for thirteen whole kilometres. I don’t know about you, but I couldn’t roll 13 kilometres, let alone chase a train on a bike for that distance. Thankfully the member of staff did catch up and was able to hit the brakes long before anything went disastrously wrong.
As it is the worst thing that happened is that a load of other trains were delayed or stopped. The reason being is that a runaway train runs the serious risk of coming off the tracks, as the complex process of braking and accelerating each individual carriage needs the careful management of a human being. Without them it is all too common for the trains to derail and, if there are any other trains coming in the opposite direction or sitting on nearby rails, it’s almost certain that the two will collide as one comes off the track.
Thankfully nothing like this happened here because of the quick thinking (and serious cardio skills) of the rider who chased the train down and stopped it, but runaway derailments have happened before. In 1989 a runaway train derailed in San Bernadino, US., and killed four people living in nearby houses.
What do you think? Would you be up to the challenge of chasing a runaway train down and stopping it? Or would you just back away slowly and retroactively call in sick to work? Let us know in the comments below!