The Rajdhani Express is one of the most important trains in the country. When compared with a normal passenger train or another express this train gets precedence as it connects capitals of states. So naturally, the fare on this train is comparatively higher and so should the security arrangement be. Sadly, that is not the case.


The passengers of the New Delhi-Patna Rajdhani Express on April 9, were shocked to find robbers on their train. According to news reports the robbers ran off with valuables worth lakhs of rupees of over 20 passengers on board. Now comes the shocking part, despite such stringent security measures, these passengers became the victim of robbery thanks to the genius plan of using a Re 1 coin. Yes, the gang used this one coin to tamper with the railway signal and forced the driver of the train to stop.


A Hindustan Times report has listed that four persons suspected to have robbed the passengers between Gahmar and Bhadaura railway stations of Mughalsarai division and that they have been arrested. Two stolen cell phones, wallets, ATM cards and ornaments were recovered from them. 


How can a coin stop a train?

The gang inserted the coin between the joint of the tracks, removed the rubber insulation at the joints causing a glitch in the system and the signal to turn red, forcing the train driver to stop. Circuits are used to notify that a train is on a particular track. So for this circuit, some part of the rails are separated using insulation, at the joint. Railway tracks are 13 meters in length and two tracks when joined have a gap in between. An insulating material is filled in this gap to cut off the circuit from tracks away from the signal or else the signal will always be red.


How a track circuit works?

The most common way to determine whether a section of line is occupied is by use of a track circuit. The rails at either end of each section are electrically isolated from the next section, and an electrical current is fed to both running rails at one end. A relay at the other end is connected to both rails. When the section is unoccupied, the relay coil completes an electrical circuit, and is energised. However, when a train enters the section, it short-circuits the current in the rails, and the relay is de-energised. This method does not explicitly need to check that the entire train has left the section. If part of the train remains in the section, the track circuit detects that part.


Interestingly, a gang of three doing the same thing was caught a year ago by the Mughalsarai division police.