Some Dreams Come True

by Samay Kumar

Ryan, a 29 year old guy in a renowned city, worked in a private organization for the post of back office executive. His job was to check all the official emails, looking after the computers and deal with all kinds of accounting duties. Though hes not a post graduate in computers, he possessed great technical knowledge about computers. He was sometimes referred to as the most technically correct employee amongst all his colleagues. He always handled all kinds of computer related issues with a smile. But apart from being a regular computer savvy, he subconsciously loved and got obsessed over one thing. He always wanted to become a railway professional. His favourite pass time hobbies were train modelling and studying about railways. His parents would always discourage him of not to think of a railway job as he didnt possess an engineering degree. Most of the time it is mandatory to have an engineering education, if one aspires to get a railway job. But he never got discouraged. He himself was a self-motivated guy and started working on his own self improvement. No one was there to guide him. But he believes that he alone can achieve extraordinary things, so he never asked for anyones help. Railway is one of the largest public sector units, where so many people work from a top-level employee to a ground level one. Ryan, being a very knowledgeable guy in both computers and railways, never stopped helping a computer novice or a railway novice. He helped fellow passengers to take the right train for the right destination. He had more railway knowledge than those who work under the railways. In the holidays, he was either found making model trains at home or hes out with his friends for a short railway trip. It was an usual evening when he always returns from office, but turned out to be an unusual one. Returning from office with his other colleagues an incident happened that took a big turn in his life.

He started gossiping with his colleagues inside the train compartment, when suddenly there was a bursting sound accompanied with a large flash of light. The train then stopped suddenly on the middle of the route. All the passengers overlooked it to be a minor issue and thought that everything would be all right after a few minutes, but it wasnt. Standing for an hour at the same place, some passengers got down from the train and started walking on the railway tracks to reach the nearby station which was few kilometres from the place where the train had actually stopped. Ryans colleagues also left his company and he was left with other five passengers in the train compartment when suddenly a big scream was heard. Ryan looked out of the train compartment door, when a super fast train blown wind and dust over the side track and disappeared. After a few minutes a railway relief train approached with some of their staff halting by the side track. Ryan with other train passengers asked them about what had happened. According to them, the very recently approached super fast stormy train ran over nine people on the side track for this reason they had to come here which would lead to the delay of the other trains which are approaching on the same track from the terminal station. Ryan looked out of the train compartment carefully to see an enormous blind curve of the side track that entered into the nearby railway station. Railway tracks with blind curves are extremely dangerous. One couldnt anticipate whether there is any train approaching on the track or not and same thing happened with the pedestrians also. Their biggest mistake was that they were completely unaware of the blind curve with that they were careless also. Trains are extremely dangerous, but also a very fast transport that covers long distances in quite a short period of time. The other passengers in the standing delayed train excluding Ryan became impatient and started asking whats the reason for its sudden stop on the middle of the route? The place where the train was standing was an odd place where the nearby station seemed very close, but it was far away and the highway bus route was now way behind.

It was 9 o clock in the night that the other passengers were trying to get down, but Ryan advised them not to get down onto the tracks as it will be dangerous and fatal. He told them to have trust on the railway authority as they were definitely doing something to start up the train. Suddenly, a man in a blue shirt and navy blue trousers came to seek help. He was seeking for some helpful persons to help him in the trains machine room. He went to the trains every compartment, but no one was willing to help him. The four passengers refused to help the pilot, except Ryan who told him that helping him will be his pleasure. So, Ryan accompanied the locomotive pilot to the trains machine room.

Entering the trains machine room that they smelled burning of something which was according to the pilot may be from a short circuit. The train was an EMU (Electric Multiple Unit) train which are commuter trains very popularly used for suburban railway traffic. These trains vary from a nine coach to a twelve coach rakes not joined by any vestibule unlike other high tech railway coaches. Electric Multiple Unit trains comprise of separate motor coaches or power cars where one single power car has the capacity to haul up to three unpowered cars or passengers coaches. Now this standing train is a twelve coach train comprising of four power units or power cars each hauling three passenger cars or unpowered cars where the power is fed to the trains systems by the overhead power collector known as the pantograph. Here, the main problem was that the trains forward power car or the first unit was totally disabled by the short circuit. It was quarter to ten that the trains loco pilot and Ryan were working inside the trains power unit. Ryan assisted the loco pilot along with the trains guard by checking the main rectifier, the asynchronous traction motors and other power cars which were found to be completely alright. The loco pilot then took help from the overhead assistance team who checked the trains overhead circuitry to be all right, but after several trials the front pantograph was not ready to take power from the catenary wire. Every time, the pantograph was triggered by the compressor, a large flash accompanied by a bursting sound was heard. Where was the problem? It was 11-10 P.M that the train was completely evacuated except Ryan who was in the trains machine driving room trying every other way to start up the train, may be it was his intuition which was telling him that the train will definitely start. The loco pilot left all his hopes, but Ryan asked him to give him a last chance to check the D.C. Link which connects the three-phase inverter to the main rectifier. The loco pilot according to his information was newly appointed and was not comfortable with train operation. Ryan asked him about whether the train had already passed over a dead zone or not. The loco pilot looked at Ryan in awe and then suddenly screamed and said Yes! You are right, but how did you know that? Ryan told him that this is not the time to ask this question and it will be really kind of him if he could answer. The loco pilot answered in a vague way and then suddenly Ryan took away the drivers emergency torch and then jumped out of the trains driving cabin onto the tracks and in order to find out whether he guessed it right or wrong, he then moved one thousand meters back by checking every upper section of a traction mast or a catenary mast when suddenly he found the beginning of a dead zone. Dead zones also termed as neutral zones are indictors which are fixed onto the traction masts coloured in reflective paint so as to catch the drivers attention and seeing which the driver becomes alert and starts switching off the motor blowers, the auxiliary equipments and the main circuit breaker before entering into the dead zone. Dead zones or neutral zones which are either having no electrical continuity or they are points between two phases of different substations. Ryan guessed it right what he thought was the actual reason behind this problem. The loco pilot was actually super callous. He didnt do what should be done, and the result was a short circuit accompanied with lots of harassment and also death of some passengers. When Ryan entered the trains driving room, he told the pilot to take a last try by checking the DC Link and the main rectifier. The DC Link was completely checked to have a normal AC to DC conversion and then comes the pantograph connection to the main circuit breaker which was reset. Ryan told the loco pilot to try and start-up the train. Switching on the main circuit breaker starts up the sounds of the motor blowers, cooling fans and the most important part was the normal operation of the front pantograph feeding power from the overhead catenary wires to the systems. The loco pilot was completely astonished and he thanked Ryan and then requested him to stay with him in the trains driving room till the train reached its terminal station at 2-30 a.m. The loco pilot requested Ryan to accompany him to the railway technical department where he was asked by the other railway team members about the cause of delay. Ryan held on his guts and described the whole incident from the beginning to the end. Every one in the office listened to him and got surprised to see the courage of an ordinary passenger who had got so much knowledge about railways. The railway technical team thanked Ryan and suspended the loco pilot for a day.

Three months gone after the incident had happened, an enclosed envelope came to Ryans house. His mother was too excited to open the envelope, but didnt understand what was written inside it, but when the letter was handed over to Ryan, he found his dream coming true in the form of a railway job interview letter.

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