Pulse of Mumbai: The Suburban Railway

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Mumbai Suburban Train

Mumbai Suburban Train

 

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11 comments

  1. Thanks for this post Sharukh. I try to imagine you riding the railway to and from work each day and think how tedious such a long, hot ride may be. Now I have real visuals and the details to go along with my imagination. It also helps to explain to my husband. When I tell him how you travel to work, he has lot of questions. Now I can answer them. How sad about the daily deaths on the system though. I am glad you decided to move away from the doorway!

    1. Well, I always want to show the slice of my life to you guys, and its not just about me, but about millions who travel with me. Commute is really bad during summer due to heat, but its about to get worse when the monsoon hits the city. Imagine hanging out at the door-side in the rain, those rain drops hit your face like millions of tiny needles as the train races ahead, plus the water can make you slip any time, if your luck runs out. Well, if your husband has any questions, write them down and I will be glad to answer those. No one really likes to see people dying on a daily basis, but Mumbai is a harsh city to live in.

  2. Sharukh, you had to know that this post would speak to me. I am actually reading it while on a train in the US. I feel guity when I look around at the comfort I am enjoying. I love trains, traveling by train and reading about trains. Thanks also for the great pictures. The line I am on recently had a derailment. Six people died, and it shut the service down for over a week so the authority (NTSB National Transportatin Safety Board) could investigate. I can’t imagine deaths on a daily basis. Thanks for a great post!

    1. Dan, by now I already know you’re passionate about trains like me. Nothing to be guilty about. Yes, you guys have the comfort that we can only think and imagine about and probably it will take India another couple of centuries to reach the level you guys are already enjoying, but don’t worry about it. I still somehow manage to watch a movie on my smartphone or reply to you guys or read a book even during peak hours. Its called management. While many people watch in amazement how to get inside the train, we regulars know how to get in and read a book. Don’t ask me how I do it. Its a top secret which I will reveal only when you jump on the train with me sometime. Ha ha ha.

      1. Ha ha ha. Don’t worry Dan. I won’t let you get out of my sight for a second. I know how to take care of my guest and secondly the reputation of my country will be at stake. Ha Ha Ha.

  3. I found this post very fascinating. I am used to seeing the steam trains in India in the old films with people hanging all over the place! Seeing the ultra modern train was an enlightenment. The only solution to overcrowding, of course, is having more trains! I was really impressed by the cars set aside for different classes of travel, and different people–man, woman, old age, cancer-handicap, etc. Here more people are killed by being hit by them, than by falling off.

    1. Hello. Thank you for commenting and visiting my tiny travel blog. Well, Mumbai is very special to me (you’ll see that as you read more of my posts) and I travel in these trains almost every day. From outsider’s perspective, yes, having more trains is the best way to the solution, but those who live here know that it won’t make things better. Already there are around 2,300 train services per day, yes per day and these trains carry around 10 million passengers per day. There’s enormous pressure on the railways to perform day-in and day-out to help commuters get from Point A to Point B without delays & accidents which are inevitable. A better way is to come up with alternative quick transport solutions to help people move out of those trains. For instance, metro trains. Unfortunately, the government hasn’t paid any attention to the sea-route to help reach commuters quickly reducing the pressure off the trains.

      1. Instead of making more trains to relieve crowding, make alternative transportation so fewer people use the trains–I got it! Here we try to get people out of their automobiles which choke the highways and onto the trains and buses.

      2. I know it sounds opposite of what you guys are going through, but seriously public transport is overloaded, especially in Mumbai. One cannot fit entire Indian population in a tiny space like Mumbai. People from across India just keep pouring in to make their dreams come true and Mumbai has become a victim of its own success. The only way out is either there are alternative modes of transport which public can use to reach across the city, or the government start creating more employments across various smaller towns so that the number of immigrants drop down considerably eventually taking off the load off this city. I was born and brought up in the heart of the city, but over the past decade there has been so much of overcrowding that I decided to leave the city and settle in the suburbs where I could find some peace and fresh air to breathe.

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