Date: 22 Dec 2008; 7.42am
Camera: Canon 400D with Sigma 17-70/f2.8-4.5
India has one of the largest rail networks in the world. It has 63,140 km of railroad; some sources list it as the 5th largest after USA, Russia, Canada and China. However it definitely has the highest passenger ridership in the world especially those lines connecting the major urban centres. In fact its urban rail is so packed during peak hours that it is not uncommon to see passengers packed like sardines and clinging to doors, on the roofs and so on. Unfortunately most of the rail carriages in India are really ancient, dating back to the British era, just like its post boxes and everything else in the country. The majority of them are uncomfortable, crowded and crime is an issue on some routes. Similarly its railway stations are grand but dirty and most of them rather dilapidated to say the least. Some foreigners may find these nostalgic and fun but I believe that this is symptomatic of the bureaucratic inertia of the country.