Ask any regular local train traveller about catching a train, they will say they have to hurry up most times. Half the time due to traffic on their way to the station or sometimes for cashing on the offer to catch earlier local which got delayed a bit. Local trains have their own distinct features such as if eight to 10 people are hurriedly coming down the adjacent bridge, you know there is a train arriving. Climbing a crowded bridge takes as much time as the train takes to reach from one station to another.
Being one of the busiest commuter rail networks, one moment you are near the Arabian Sea, in the next one hour you will be in the lake city of Thane. The frequency, connectivity, efficient signal system make the railways most preferred option by the commuters.
Dilemma of Catching a Fast or Slow Local –
People stand upstairs on the bridge in dilemma of catching a fast or slow local. Boarding a fast train means adjusting with a huge crowd, guaranteed standing journey with dhakka-mukki and not to mention chances of an altercation. Slow trains are like the consistent batsman who score runs at the strike rate of 80, few don’t prefer them however lot of people opt for little more sanity while travelling.
Local Trains Bring People Together –
Just as we have school friends, college friends, office friends. Likewise, in Mumbai, we also have train friends. Strangers become good friends over the train they catch together every morning.
Watching the train run at consistent speed, we feel positive about reaching the destination on time. If you are standing in-between the little space of the two parallel four-seaters, it’s your responsibility to put bags of incoming passengers on the luggage stand above your head. It’s also not unethical/improper to stand on the door if you have kept little space for others to board the train 😉
The Harbour, Central and Western Line Routes –
Panvel to VT, Badlapur to VT or Virar to Churchgate. These are not just local routes, for lakhs of people, this is life. Most of the jobs of the maximum city are situated in town or in suburbs. Every morning people leave their home for catching an Up direction local.
Dadar Public Bridge –
Dadar Public Bridge is the testimony to the fact that we live in one of the busiest city in the world. Not a single minute go when we don’t find central line people rushing to catch western line train and vice-versa. At any point, you will see 500-600 people using this bridge.
Taking the Thing called Life Lightly –
No matter how long the train has halted on a particular station, there will always be people trying to board the train when it starts to depart. What’s more unfortunate is few youngsters make it a habit to board the train when it is leaving the station. As a matter of fact, around 11 to 15 people lose their lives daily due to train accidents.
From the world famous dabbawaalas who cater food to people around the city, college-going public to the people who struggled and made it big in their field will have a story to tell about local trains.
I ended my train journey by alighting from the train which hasn’t even stopped properly. A middle-aged person in white shirt put his hand in my way, he signalled me to show the ticket, upon verifying he allowed me to leave 🙂