An unmanned train engine sped off on the rail line along Nairobi-Ruiru Railway on Wednesday evening causing panic among locals – an accident that would have caused immeasurable and memorable havoc to locals.
In a statement, officials explained the brake system of the engine stopped working at the Makadara station, and the driver and an engineer had to jump off while it paced off towards Githurai.
Railway commandant Kirimi Ringera noted that the engine came to a halt on its own after it rode up close to Githurai in Mwiki area. The engine which lost speed nearly ten kilometres away, stopped without causing any significant havoc.
Relieved by the danger-free final result of the seeming accident, the driver and the engineer said the train could’ve crashed into car, or veered off and landed on houses or even caused other heavier disasters.
Police said the train had stopped at the Makadara station while it was waiting to have wagons attached, when the driver, who was in his cabin, noticed the pressure was low and the brakes were not working.
While the driver tried to align the engine to attach wagons, the engine began to wander off with the its failed brakes, the driver and engineer then jumped off.
The two train officials then entered into another train that was at the scene and followed the speeding engine. As they trail the engine, they hooted from a distance to alert pedestrians and motorists at different level crossing informing them to stay off the way.
According to Nairobi police commander Japheth Koome
The driver and the engineer managed to get into another train at the scene and trailed the unmanned one while hooting from a distance to warn pedestrians.
A source who saw the engine wonder off revealed it really moved in a very high speed and gained momentum as it moved until it miraculously stalled at a slope.
The engine is among the old ones that the management use in ferrying passengers and cargo. The management is in the process of modernizing the engines and wagons for better service delivery.
RVR had to cancel the evening train ride as railway crew pulled back the engine to look into the incident and determine what might have prompted it.