May 09, Colombo: The work-to-rule campaign launched by the train drivers in Sri Lanka on Wednesday has angered the commuters who are inconvenienced by the delays and cancellations of trains.
An irate mob of passengers today assaulted the train driver of a Colombo bound train from Mahawa at the Polgahawela railway station delaying the train services on the main line for over half an hour.
The passengers angered by the reportedly 'slow' ride have attacked the engine drive, the guard and the station master at the station.
The police intervened and dissipated the tense situation allowing the trains to resume operations. The Railway Control Room said the situation has been brought under control.
The Railway Engine Drivers Association launched the trade union action to protest the faults in Railway signal system and train operation.
The train drivers meanwhile, say they cannot operate trains without the protection of the police or Army.
Their trade union action follows the two train collisions within a week on the country's rail tracks and the government's decision to suspend the engine drivers, their assistants and the station masters of the stations where the accidents took place.
On April 30th an intercity train traveling on northern track collided with a stationary train at the Pothuhera Train Station in Kurunegala injuring 68 people while a train from Galle transporting fuel collided with a stationary power-set at the Aluthgama Train Station on the southern track on Wednesday.
The engine drivers blame the faulty signal systems on the country's rail tracks.