Villagers in the district on Monday averted a possible rail mishap as they waved a piece of red cloth to stop the Alipurduar Bamanhat passenger train near Ghughumari station after spotting a crack on the tracks.
The incident comes close on the heels of the derailment of the Hirakhand Express that left 39 persons dead.
Locals said, "We saw there was a crack on one of the railway tracks. We stood on one side and immediately drew the attention of the driver of the train which we knew would pass the area shortly."
West Bengal Minister Rabindranath Ghosh, who is in-charge of North Bengal Development department, congratulated the villagers before assembled media persons for waving cloth following which the driver halted the train.
"Their timely act saved so many lives," Ghosh said.
An NFR spokesperson said the 55465 Alipurduar Bamanhat train was stopped as the villagers informed the driver about cracks on track at 7:30 AM near Ghughumari station.
The train, which was halted shortly after leaving Alipurduar station, resumed its journey for Bamanhat station at 8:40 AM after railway maintenance staff repaired the cracks, the spokesman said in Guwahati.
Station Manager, New Coochbehar, said the train made a brief halt before resuming its journey.
Railway sources in Alipurduar Junction went to the spot from New Cooch Behar and fixed the problem.