Bengaluru: Women power to the fore! A goods train from Palghar district reached Vadodara in Gujarat, with only women as crew onboard it. 

From the pilots to goods guard, women power was on full display. 

Kumkum S. Dongre (age 34 years), assistant loco pilot Udita Verma (age 28 years) and goods guard Akanksha Ray (age 29 years) were onboard it. 

The train that had 43 closed wagons, left from Vasai Road at 11:30 am on Tuesday and reached Vadodara after 6 hours. The women pilots drove it at an average speed of around 60 kmph. Western Railway General Manager Alok Kansal said on Wednesday, "Western Railway has invented another tradition, which has been recorded in history. The women have set a shining example that no work is beyond their capabilities.”

A few years ago, Western Railway commanded the first mother-woman, Preeti Kumari, to run a suburban train.  


A note on Akanksha Ray: 

She joined the railways on 4 April 2019. Mumbai Mirror notes that their job can be strenuous in nature as they have to stay in their brake van during the entire run where no basic facilities are given. It also quoted Napoleon Fernandez, a former guard who served for the Indian Railways between 1959 to 1993, the situation has slightly improved with the running of 8 wheeler Brake van. "Guards have to spend long hours in utmost vigilance and it can be very taxing mentally as well as physically".