Guwahati, : An elephant was hit by 15614 Dn. Lachit Express at KM 326/4-5 between Boginadi – Gogamukh railway stations of Rangiya Division of N. F. Railway last night. The train was at slower than normal speed as the area is a notified elephant corridor and drivers had already been given caution Order to drive at 45 kmph and be on the lookout for elephant movements.
The elephant appeared suddenly on railway track and the Loco Pilot (driver) of the train had to apply emergency brake. The driver was able to stop the train in 15 seconds within a distance of 108 meters but the train slightly dashed on the elephant. The Assistant Loco Pilot of the train got down from the engine and checked the nearby area of track for the elephant. He reported seeing the elephant running away towards nearby jungle.
The Loco Pilot and the Assistant Loco Pilot had no prior information of elephant movements from State Forest officials or villagers. However, they had the presence of mind to apply emergency brake and controlled the situation.
It may be mentioned that alert train drivers had saved elephants from meeting with accidents in 115 cases during the year 2018 only by controlling the train on noticing movement of elephant herd near or over railway track. The figure of such cases when elephant was saved by driver stopping the train was 119 during 2017. While it was 145 and 118 during the year 2016 and 2015, in the current year till date there are 6 incidents where drivers had to stop train to give path to herd of elephant crossing railway track.
N.F. Railway has taken various initiatives to avoid train related casualty of elephant. Some of them are like installation of Laser Speed Radar Gun to detect over speeding cases in elephant zones. All train drivers and trackmen have been counselled to observe all permanent and temporary speed restrictions. Fixing of buzzer with Honey Bee sound at Level crossing gates of vulnerable locations had proved to effective method for chasing away elephants.
In most of the cases, early warning in the form of information on elephant movements received from villagers and forest department officials proved to be of great help for avoiding accidents involving elephants.