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Trains movement hit due to fire at Itarsi station in MP

Bhopal: The movement of trains was badly affected in Bhopal division of West Central Railway after signalling system collapsed following a fire today in route relaying interlocking (RRI) cabin of Itarsi station – one of the biggest railway junctions in the country.

The movement of trains to major cities of the country via Itarsi, about 90 kms from here, has been hit hard, leaving the passengers high and dry.

“Movement of 25 trains has been affected. Two or three trains have been terminated midway,” Bhopal railway division Public Relation Officer I A Siddiqui told.

“We have diverted many trains through other routes,” he said.

The signalling system was paralysed after fire broke out at the RRI this morning.

Itarsi Assistant Station Master Ashish Dubey said that the trains were being cleared by manual signalling.

Efforts are on to fix the problem. The system is likely to be restored by evening, he said.

The fire broke out at the RRI due to a short-circuit. A part of RRI was to be replaced in 1998, but it was not done and this could have caused the short circuit, railway sources said.

Meanwhile, Bhopal Divisional Railway Manager Alok Kumar along with other senior officials rushed to the spot and were monitoring repair work to restore the signalling system.

Kumar has constituted a three-member high level committee to probe the cause of fire.

PRO Siddiqui said that railway has made arrangements for providing food and water to the passengers affected by the delay in trains. Counters have been put up to cancel and refund tickets of the passengers whose trains have been terminated.

A passenger named C K Naidu said that he was stuck at Budhni station for more than an hour.

“I boarded the inter-city train from Habibganj station in Bhopal to Jabalpur at 5.30 AM. But I reached Budhni station at around 8 AM – the time when the train is supposed to reach Itarsi,” he said.

“After some time, the train left Budhni station. We were informed it is going to be terminated shortly. From Powarkheda station, where the train terminated, we were brought to Itarsi by another train,” Naidu said.

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