The Incredible Impact of the Indian Railways
Railways are the backbone of India. Their extensive reach and low fares make it the most economical mode of transportfor a country where a majority of the population is uneducated. Flights are too expensive, and road travel is also more costly and tiring as compared to train travel.
The Indian Railways has come a long way since 1853 when the first train on the Asian continent ran from Boring Bunder to Thane. They have become an integral part of society and a game changer in India.
Here are some reasons why the Indian Railways is so vital for India and its people.
- Environmental Impact
Most of the trains in India run on electricity and have been doing so over the past 30 to 40 years. Other modes of transport depend on a non-renewable source of energy, fossil fuels. Road transport vehicles require diesel and petrol whereas air travel uses aviation fuel, which is a blend of kerosene.
Perhaps the most significant advantage of train travel is that it is very reliable. Unlike flights, which are greatly influenced by weather conditions such as rain, fog, and snow, trains can continue running. Even road transport may be unsafe during the night or low visibility, whereas trains are equipped with special sensors for exactly such scenarios.
- Long Distance Travel
Trains are perhaps the most comfortable mode of travel, especially over long distances. With sleeper and private cabins available, you can have quite a relaxing tour. If you are quite engrossed in some activity, you won’t even notice the movement of the train, and it will seem as if you are stationary.
- Incredible Network
The rail network of India is vast, and with 7349 stations throughout the country, almost all corners can be reached via train. Airports are impractical for a majority of towns in India due to their relatively small size. Road transport is quite common, but will only ply to regions that have a lot of people travelling to. Trains are the best bet to get to even the most remote areas of the country.
- Well organised
Irrespective of your opinion on the Indian Railways, there is no doubt that it is very well organised. Improvements and changes can be made, there is no doubt, but for such a large organisation, it works quite smoothly. It caters to more than 8 billion people every year, which means that it is being run quite efficiently. With new features such as railway seat availability and train running status also becoming more mainstream, it is clear that the life of the common man is becoming much easier.
For a country that is still developing into one of the superpowers, employment is an incredibly important criterion. The Indian Railways is the 8th largest employer in the world and the largest in the country. Over 13 lakh people work for the Indian Railways or its subsidiaries according to a census in March 2016. Its economic impact is massive.
The Indian Railway is a crucial part of the culture of the country. With a few more improvements it can prove to reach its true potential.