One. Two. Three: Heave!
It was more than just a ticket to ride that passengers on a train bought with their money one day last week in eastern India. They also were given the opportunity to participate actively in making sure they arrived at their destinations. The trip was going well until, according to a spokesman for the rail system, somewhere between the cities of Banahi and Raghunathpur in Bihar State some genius decided to pull the emergency chain, and the locomotive lost its connection to the overhead wire that feeds it electricity. Unfortunately, this happened in a "neutral zone,"a length of track without power. Normally, sheer momentum causes a train to continue through these zones. But not this time. The engine stalled, and the next set of poles supporting the wire was 60 yards ahead. You can see where this is going, right? Right. All able passengers were asked to climb down and push the locomotive to a point where it could reconnect. The effort – in 90-degree F. weather – took almost an hour, but the engine finally caught again, the stalled passenger cars were recoupled, and the trip resumed. Officials of the rail system said they couldn't remember an incident of that type happening before. It's not known whether the perspiring passengers were refunded their fares or at least offered a free return trip.