Cargo Train in India Travels 43 Miles Without a Driver

Authorities managed to stop the runaway train without injuries
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 27, 2024 3:12 PM CST
Runaway Train in India Travels 43 Miles Without a Driver
A screen shot of the train.   (YouTube/Times of India)

A loaded freight train in India traveled 43 miles without any humans aboard—and this wasn't an autopilot test. Instead, the train with about 50 carriages rolled off on its own after the driver and an assistant disembarked for a crew change at a station in the northern state of Jammu and Kashmir, reports the AFP. It was chugging along with its load of gravel at more than 60mph before authorities finally managed to stop it in Punjab state. "The train was stopped after a railway official placed wood blocks on the tracks," railway officials told the Press Trust of India news agency, per the BBC.

The AFP also reports that's how the train was stopped, though the Times of India has a more dramatic account of a railway worker hopping aboard as it slowed and pulling the emergency brakes. The discrepancy will likely be cleared up in the investigation that's been ordered by Indian Railways. In the meantime, six people have been suspended, including the driver and his assistant. The Indian newspaper notes that crews are supposed to place wooden wedges under a stopped train's wheels to prevent such runaways. (More India stories.)

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