The human life is very much like that of a train. Every individual has a new journey to embark on, with multiple stops, and a beautiful destination. On our way we pick up people, some who carry us and some we take upon our own shoulders. Some get off at sops in between and some stay till the last destination, and we often need to choose which path to take just like the train has to choose the right rail track to make a turn to reach its final station.
The Indian railways is more than just a carrier of passengers from one place to another. It is a means of a son reuniting with his family, it is what brings together strangers over exchanging the top birth for the lower birth, it connects lives across states, it is where a new bride begins her journey with her husband to a place where she now has to build her home, it is not the platform but the passengers that help fulfil the chai walla’s dream, it is the roasted peanuts that make your journey more worthwhile. It is not just a carrier of passengers as much as it is of emotions! The thrill of booking a non AC so you can enjoy putting your hands out of the train and feeling the wind on our faces (yes, we are all rebels).
April 16th 1853, the day the first railway was introduced in India from Mumbai to Thane. Waoh, haven’t we come a long way since? In 1951 the systems were nationalized as one unit, the Indian Railways, becoming one of the largest networks in the world. The Indian railways operates both long distance and suburban rail systems.
India has space for all – the New Delhi-Bhopal Shatabdi Express is the fastest train in India with an average speed of 91 kmph and tends to touch a 195 kmph on the Delhi – Agra stretch. At the same time The Nilgiri Express with an average speed of 10kmph has the distinction of being India’s slowest train.
Did you know that Srirampur and Belapur are two different stations in Maharashtra’s Ahmednagar district, at the same location on the railway route but on opposite sides of the track? Isn’t that exciting?
When you are travelling by train, do you sometimes find it hard to pronounce the names of certain stations? (I do, very often actually) to make it harder for you, here is the longest station name recorded: Venkatanarasimharajuvaripeta, on the Arakkonam-Renigunta section near Chennai.I am sorry what was the name again? Don’t worry, I didn’t catch it either! To make up for it, let me tell you the shortest name: Ib and Od, found near Jharsuguda and Gujurat respectively.
No matter how old you get, a tunnel can never fail to excite you! The longest rail tunnel in India is the PirPanjal tunnel at a length of 11.215 km. It was completed in December 2012 in J&K.
Changing platforms can never be fun, specially not when you are on the longest platform in the world in Gorakhpur which is 1.35 Km long!
Choo! Choo! Choo! Choo! Went the sound of the Fairy Queen train, that runs between New Delhi and Rajasthan, the oldest working steam locomotive in the world and it has a certificate from Guinness Book of Records to prove it!
The IRCTC ((Indian Railways Catering & Tourism Corporation) website gets close to 12 lakh hits per minute! Oh I know how tempted you are to open the website and book a ticket yourself right now, by all means Go ahead! Pack your bags and embark on a new journey!
Meanwhile I have a train to catch! See you there! Ciao!