In a bizarre incident, an electric train engine traveled for about 13 kilometers without loco pilot from Wadi station in the district before being brought to a halt by a staff member who chased it on a bike.
Mirroring a script straight out of a movie, the railways employee caught up with the engine, jumped on and stopped it.
Trouble started after the Chennai-Mumbai train arrived at Wadi junction around 3 pm on Wednesday, where its electric engine was to swap for a diesel one, railway officials said. The route from Wadi to Solapur in Maharashtra is not electrified.
The diesel engine was attached to the Mumbai train which continued its journey to Solapur, the officials said. In the meantime, due to what is being described as a slip-up, the disengaged electric engine started moving on its own after the loco pilot alighted from it.
As a stunned pilot looked on, the Wadi station authorities alerted the next few stations to clear signals and tracks. To prevent any possible mishap, trains from the opposite direction were also stopped, the officials said.
As the electric engine cruised, the railways staff gave a chase on a motorbike, managed to board it when it slowed and stopped it near Nalwar. By then, the engine had run for about 13 kilometers.
It was not exactly known how the electric engine began to move, the officials said, adding, an inquiry by a special team was underway.