Western Railways (WR) authorities have decided to recommend motorman G Vishwanath Nair’s name for the General Manager’s award for averting a major accident at Vile Parle on September 15.
WR divisional railway manager Shailendra Kumar said on Wednesday that he would recommend Nair’s name as he applied the brakes at the nick of time when his train was speeding towards the spot where seven coaches of a Churchgate-bound train had derailed.
“Nair’s presence of mind worked at the right time when a Churchgate-bound fast local train derailed at around 11 am. If he wouldn’t have applied emergency brakes, there would have been a big mishap,” Kumar said.
Nair (52) has been working as a WR motorman for 28 years. Prior to this, he was working on mail trains for two years. On the day of the mishap, he was on a Borivali-bound fast local train and approaching Vile Parle station.
“I was on the fast down line towards Vile Parle when I saw the coaches derailed. The overhead wire pole threw out sparks and was bending down. It was about to fall down. The motorman on that local was trying to apply the brakes.
I saw it and gave him the ‘signal of emergency flash’ from my train. Meanwhile I had applied the emergency brakes on my local train averting a big mishap. My local was hardly 25 meters from the other,” Nair said.
“I immediately got off the train and with the help of the guard, informed the control room. Our first concern was to ensure that commuters on both trains are safe and we started informing them not to jump in panic. Eventually all the commuters alighted from the mishap train safely,” Nair added.
The Commissioner of Railway Safety (CRS) probing the inquiry would also take Nair’s statement as he is the main eye witness of the derailment.