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Jul 31, 2015

Train Roof - Favorite place to sit for passengers in India

Believe it or not, the train roof has become a favorite place for passenger to sit and travel in India. At least, the recent pictures featuring devotees sitting at top of train while going to see and seek blessings of their guru on occasion of guru poornima, a full moon day festival, force us to believe it.

seat av availability problem forces people to sit on top of train
It was very common for people to sit at train's roof during rush hours during the days prior electrification of routes Indian Railways. And one had thought that with most routes getting electrified the practice would have ended by now. But it has not happened.

Despite railway authorities asking people not to sit on passenger trains roof; and despite many accidents, the trend seems to have getting back. On the routes that are yet to be electrified, and on which the trains are pulled by diesel and steam locomotives, the travelers are happy to climb up the roof of the train and travel. The problem is especially worse on the meter gauge routes, that are not yet got electrified in India. Interestingly, this happens even when there is enough space available inside the train to sit and enjoy journey. But people seems to enjoy journey sitting at top of train.

One has to say the seat availability is train is also a major factor in forcing people to sit on train's top. During festival season in almost all the popular fast trains and passenger trains the IRCTC seat availability is nil.

Constantly we see people hanging their legs while sitting at top of train, or just lying on their backs looks at the sky while trains is moving fast between the stations.

'Sitting on the top,' travelers don't even worry about slipping from top. They don't seem to care if there is a hailstorm or thunderstorm, all of a sudden, which can make life difficult for them. There are more dangers like the probability of colliding with structures like 'low height railway over-bridge' and 'dens' built on the route of the train.

For these crazy people it is opportunity to show how brave they are and how they are different from common people. Apart from roof these people don't mind standing at the junction between the two bogies. This is absolutely crazy stuff. People in India also have a unique notorious  habit of standing at the gate of the coach. Many people slip everyday from there but no one seems to learn lesson.

At one moment people blame government and railway authorities that they are not doing enough to make journey safe, and on other hand they do things that doesn't allow railway board to make journey safer. More than railway officials, it is absolutely necessary that we change our travelling habits. Only then we can truly make railway journey safe.

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