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HomeNews ReportsFact-check: No, Army jawans didn't push a train to 'start' it. News24 and others...

Fact-check: No, Army jawans didn’t push a train to ‘start’ it. News24 and others spread misinformation regarding an incident where forces helped with a rescue operation

The footage was extensively shared on Twitter by several media outlets, opposition leaders and members of the leftist cabal with claims that an Indian Railway train carrying hundreds of passengers stopped all of a sudden and had to be pushed to re-start. The claim, however, turned out to be false.

On Monday, July 10, a video went viral on social media showing the Army jawans police team, railway staff, locals, and commuters onboard pushing a train to ‘start’ it. The footage was extensively shared on Twitter by several media outlets, opposition leaders and members of the leftist cabal with claims that an Indian Railway train carrying hundreds of passengers stopped all of a sudden and had to be pushed to re-start. The claim, however, turned out to be false.

News agencies like News24, News 4 Rajasthan and India TV shared the video with a caption in Hindi which translated to, “When the train did not run, the jawans pushed and started it, the video went viral on social media.”

The Tweets by most of these news agencies have been deleted after Railways issued a clarification, but the damages were done.

Since the central government is in charge of railways, various opposition leaders from parties like the Congress, the Samajwadi Party, Rashtriya Lok Dal, etc. and their loyalists saw this as an opportunity to critique the BJP government at the Centre. The party officials circulated the viral video and mocked the Indian Railway for operating in such miserable conditions under the control of the Central government.

Deepak Katri, the former National Convenor of the Indian Youth Congress and the National Coordinator of Social Media for the Indian National Congress (INC) tweeted the video and expressed despair for the so-called ‘deplorable’ state in which the Indian Railways was operating under the aegis of the central government.

Congress leader Mohd Shamim Khan also posted the video taking a sarcastic jibe at the BJP government at the centre.

Likewise, Samajwadi Party leader IP Singh shared the video posted by New 24 to mock PM Modi. He tweeted in Hindi which roughly translated to, “PM Modi’s Vande Matram train has been transformed into a push plate. The entire nation has been reduced to a push plate over the last ten years. Propaganda is the only place of employment.”

In addition, a number of ardent supporters of the leftist brigade and the Modi “hate club” seized the opportunity to insult the Modi administration and the Indian Railways by disseminating the video.

Despite the fact that the video appears to show army forces and railway employees pushing the train, the narrative weaved around the video is entirely false. There is undoubtedly more than what meets the eye.

After the video went viral, South Central Railways issued a clarification which dismissed the false information that was spread on social media regarding the video. It said, “This relates to Tr No 12703 (HWH-SC) fire incident on 07.07.23 The video is about conscious decision by Rly Personnel & Local Police to detach the rear coaches to avoid further spread of fire. It was an emergency action taken without waiting for help from engine.”

The Official spokesperson of the Ministry of Railways also issued a tweet debunking the false claims being attributed to the video wherein Army jawans police team, railway staff, locals, and commuters onboard can be seen pushing a train.

Tagging India TV’s Tweet, which was later deleted my the media outlet, it said, “This relates to Train No 12703 (HWH-SC) fire incident on 7th July, 2023. News of a fire incident is being used in a sensational & irresponsible manner.”

“After the fire incident, promt response was given & an engine was on its way to help to detach the coaches to stop further spread of fire, but instead of just waiting for the engine to come, our alert Railway & Local police personnel took immediate action,” Official spokesperson of the Ministry of Railways added.

“Railway personnel and Local police joined hands to detach the rear coaches & avoid further spread of fire. Our gratitude to the alert police personnel for responding promptly,” the Railway spokesperson’s Twitter handle posted.

Moreover, railway officials also clarified, “This relates to the Falaknuma Express train no 12703 (Howrah – Secunderabad). On 7th July 2023, there was an incident of fire which led to the damage of S2 to S6 coaches. To restrict the spread of the fire to other coaches, the rear portion consisting of 3 coaches – S1 and 2 General Coaches were detached and manually moved away by dedicated railway staff and local police.

In fact, Deccan Chronicle had on July 8 reported how 30 cops pushed 3 bogies of the Faluknama train to safety after a massive fire broke out in some coaches of Falaknuma Express between Bommaipally and Pagidipally in Telangana, following which it was stopped. All passengers deboarded the train and no injuries were reported.

Report published by Deccan Chronicle on July 8

Six coaches of the Falaknuma Express caught fire on Friday (July 7) morning between the Pagidipalli and Bommaipalli villages in the Yadadri Bhuvanagiri district of Telangana. Close to 300 passengers on board were safely evacuated by the rescue teams and were sent home in buses. Out of 18 coaches, 11 were detached and taken away safely. 

CH Rakesh, CPRO South Central Railway said, “Fire accident reported in Falaknuma Express. All the passengers got down. No casualties were reported, and the train was stopped between Bommaipally and Pagidipally. The fire broke out in three bogies, S4, S5, S6.”

It is now evident that in the video that went viral, the Railway officials were definitely pushing the coaches, but not because the train had to be ‘started’, as it was claimed by media houses and others, it was the coaches of the Falukmana Express that caught fire and the Army personnel and railway officials were merely pushing it to safety.

A stalled train locomotive can’t be started by pushing it like a car, here is why

Even if a train locomotive fails to start, it can’t be started by pushing it like a motor vehicle. This is because, in motor vehicles, the wheels are directly connected to the engine through the transmission. Moving the vehicle by pushing it causes the engine pistons to move, which starts the engine. Basically, pushing a car is the same as kickstarting a two-wheeler or hand-cranking a generator, it starts the engine by moving its pistons. The battery-powered starter motor also does the same thing to start the engine.

Now, in this video, it is clearly seen that it is an electrified route, power lines above the railway track are visible, which means it will be an electric locomotive. Electric locomotives draw power from overhead lines and use it to run the traction motors attached to the wheels. A stalled electric motor can’t be started by manually moving it, it will only move when it gets adequate electric power. Therefore, it is not possible to start an electric locomotive by pushing it like a road vehicle.

Not just electric locos, even diesel locomotives can’t be started this way. Because, even if they run on diesel, they are actually electric locomotives only. The diesel locomotives have diesel power generators, which power the traction motors attached to the wheels. The engine is not directly connected to the wheels, there is no transmission system. This is because internal combustion engines can’t generate the torque and rpm needed to move a train. Electric motors are best suited for such heavy vehicles, as it also eliminates the requirement of a complex transmission system involving gears and shafts.

That is why they are actually called diesel-electric locomotives. Therefore, pushing them won’t work, because the wheels are connected to the generator via wires, not via gears and shaft, and pushing the train won’t move the engine in the generator.

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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