Freight Train Travels 45 Miles Without Driver in India

A runaway freight train in northern India traveled nearly 45 miles without a driver before being stopped using emergency brakes and stones on the track.


Runaway Train Adventure

A freight train in northern India went on a nearly 45-mile journey without a driver. The train reached speeds of up to 46 miles per hour and the entire incident was captured in a viral video on social media. It showed the train quickly moving along the tracks near a station platform.

Fortunately, no one was injured in this incident as the train was eventually brought to a stop. Emergency brakes were used and stones were placed along the track to prevent a major accident.

Reasons for the Runaway

According to Prateek Srivastava, director for the Ministry of Railways in Jammu and Kashmir, the locomotive pilot and assistant pilot got off for unknown reasons. As soon as they left, the train started rolling down the tracks and they were unable to get back onboard.

The train continued its journey for about 1.5 hours, from Kathua railway station in Jammu and Kashmir to Hoshiarpur district in Punjab state. While the train was diverted onto a path with an uphill gradient, gravity ultimately played a role in its stopping.

Investigation and Past Incidents

Following the incident, an inquiry has led to the suspension of four individuals, and a high-level investigation is currently taking place at Kathua Railway Station.

This is not the first time India has experienced a runaway train. In April 2018, a train carrying up to 1,000 passengers traveled several miles before being brought to an emergency stop. Thankfully, no passengers were injured in that incident either.


India's Extensive Rail Network

India has one of the largest rail networks in the world, with over 11,000 trains operating daily on approximately 67,000 miles of tracks. This extensive network was built over 160 years ago during British colonial rule.

Unfortunately, India has also seen major rail disasters in recent years. In June 2020, a collision between two passenger trains and a freight train in Odisha state resulted in the death of at least 275 people and over 1,000 injuries.