A suspected handiwork of miscreants and a napping administration resulted in the first class coach of a local train, used between Lonavala and Pune, being charred on Tuesday near Badlapur railway station. Since the train was parked in a siding, no passenger or railway man was injured. The enormous fire was reported at 1.10 pm and it took the fire brigade authorities 30 minutes to douse the flames.
A small fire was reported in the same train on October 6, however no lessons were learnt. While the fire was brought under control quickly, the train continued to be stabled there. At the time of the incident, it was not connected to the Overheard Electric (OHE) lines, said a senior railway officer.
The train has been parked along the siding near Badlapur station for a month-and-a-half now. The rake is due for its periodic overhaul (POH), a detailed check and repair exercise carried out for rakes after every 18 months.
It is learnt that since the number of coaches running on Alternating Current were in surplus, the administration was in no hurry to send it for its POH.
“The train had been parked at the siding for a long time. There were repeated requests made by local railway officials to the senior administration to remove the train from the siding. However, no action was taken,” said another senior officer.
The siding is along railway tracks with no proper boundary wall and therefore an easy access for miscreants to illegally trespass along railway lines.
The doors of the train though shut were not locked at the time of the incident. The administration was now contemplating putting locks in stabled rakes to prevent miscreants from entering it, said a senior railway officer. Meanwhile, an inquiry into the incident has been ordered.