Visitor's Stories

Hope on tracks

There was a railway track on my way to college. While returning back, I mostly used to sit there for sometime and wait for a train to arrive.

I love watching trains for some unknown reasons.

Maybe it’s the way they fill up the empty tracks and the whistle that follows.

I think about so many people in that train are going to places they are new to, discovering themselves through experiences, working their way out to something better.

There is a sound of hopefulness in the whistle of the train.

I see so many people in the train. Some standing at the gate, some sitting in with their family enjoying the journey, some peeking out of the window to get glimpse of life in a different land and some capturing moments in lense.

There are so many different stories filled with the thought of just one destination.

Same destination, different hopes.

Same roads, different journeys.

Same train, different tracks.

I watch trains and hope they arrive at their destinations soon.

If our life is moving forward like a train, the tracks are a metaphor for our hopes.

Only our hopes are carrying our life forward.

In all this hustle of getting to your destination, find a stop to look at other people with hopes.

Hope of not being hopeless. Hopes of getting there even with a slow pace. Hope of getting there even after hours of delay.


– Mehak Asri

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Visitor's Stories

Mahalaxmi Express – That terrifying flood night.

Everyone of us, heard about the Mahalaxmi Express, which was surrounded by water, in the newspaper or saw it live on the TV, but what was the situation on the train, of the passengers, this experience is shared with us by Ninad Upadhye, who was there on the train, on that day, all the time.

Read it and experience.

Mahalaxmi Express stranded in Thane(This image credits – Google)

26th of July, Dombivli, my journey was about to begin, I took a Kalyan bound slow local from platform 1 of Dombivli at 8.45 pm. I was heading towards Kolhapur for my state level game by 17411 Mumbai-Kolhapur Mahalaxmi Express. It was raining heavily,I boarded the local, when I reached Kalyan the downpour was showing its deadly power.

I went towards platform 5 of Kalyan, while Dadar-Chennai Express with Ajni WAP7 banged on time at Kalyan platform 6 and the announcement was done that Mahalaxmi Express will also arrive at platform 6.

#40212 PUNE WDP4D hauled the 17411 Mahalaxmi Express also banged on time (9.19 pm)

I went inside and occupied my seat, it was still raining heavily, the signal was green and the route was clear.

My train departed kalyan at 9.23 pm and was about to reach Vitthalwadi. Slowly skipping Vitthalwadi, We went towards Ulhasnagar. Ulhasnagar was skipped with speed of 80 kmph and train continued towards Ambernath and at 9.50 pm Loco Pilot applied brakes and we were given the red signal at Ambernath outers, it was 10 pm, I was able to see Ambernath station but it was dark outside.

It was still raining heavily, people who boarded our train till Karjat got down from train and walked towards Ambernath on tracks . Now it was 11 pm but the train was standing at the same place and suddenly the news came that there is water logging at Ambernath and Badlapur so the traffic between the Kalyan and Karjat is suspended and the locals towards Karjat and Khopoli were getting terminated at Dombivli and Kalyan.


It was 12 am and there was no change in the situation, train was still at the same place. For next 2 hours the situation remained the same and everyone in the train started calling helplines but the lines were busy and no answer was there.

By now, it was 3 am and suddenly we heard a long horn, signal turned yellow and the train proceeded to Ambernath and everyone was happy that train finally moved. But then train took an unscheduled halt at Ambernath platform 1. As my coach was close to loco, I went towards it and had a conversation with LP. He said ‘there is still a water logging problem ahead and the local originated from Karjat was stucked at Vangani. Now that local had departed Badlapur, once that local gets cleared we will be getting the proceeding signal towards Karjat.

It was 3.25 am and the train departed from Ambernath, usually Kalyan to Ambernath it takes lesser than 20 minutes for the Express trains but on that day it took more than 3 hours, now train was at Badlapur and we skipped Badlapur at decent speed. After skipping Badlapur, I was able to see the ground floor/parking of the building besides the railway track full of water, then suddenly I saw that the Freight train was cleared from Vangni towards Kalyan. Also I checked the status of the Chennai Express it departed MONKEY HILL CABIN so I thought the route is clear now and expected to reach Pune at 5 am.

But, the Barvi Dam at Badlapur started to overflow and the gates of the dams were opened to release excess water came. Within a couple of minutes, the area of Badlapur and Vangni was under water. While we were continuing towards Vangani thrashing water but at 3.50 am just before the Vangani station LP and ALP applied brake and stopped the train. As there was water on the tracks and the visibility was zero, track disappeared. I was awake the whole night and was witnessing the water level increasing in the vicinity through my window ‘it was a sleepless night’.


Water level was increasing and also the rain was pouring continuously. The flood water was one step or one span away to enter the coach. I started dialling some of the numbers of railway officers, there was no response from their side as they were on duty and mobile phones are strictly prohibited on duty. Also the network was bouncing and there was less chances to connect the call.

Finally at 7 am, I tried calling my friend Akshay Bhatkar who works for ABP MAZA and luckily call got connected. He said to stay in the train and also told me that I’ll be getting one call from studio, this call will be live and I was supposed to tell them everything what is happening over there.


I told them everything about the situation and at 8.30 am, one police inspector came announcing that the NDRF, TDRF, NAVY, RPF and AIRFORCE team is on the way to rescue. Still the water level was same, and the NDRF will start rescuing people post 1.30 pm as there will be low tide. Also there was some extra food with me, so I started distributing to my co-passengers. It was 10.30 am and there was miracle, the water level started decreasing and also the rain was stopped. At a moment when the water level went down, some of the passengers and me decided to give some food to LOCO PILOT and ASSISTANT LOCO PILOT. Some RPF in the train helped us to do so.


It was now more than 12 hours, we were stuck, suddenly we hear some sound of Helicopters at 12 pm and it was Navy and Airforce Helicopters while NDRF, TDRF and NAVY team was coming down the hill for rescue, but they were not getting the safe route to the train and the distance between the train and the mountain was approximately 1.5 km. So they decided to reach at the back end of the train.

They started announcing that they are now starting the rescue operation. 8 boats were there, but at a time only 5 people can go along with their respective luggage. So they decided that they will provide boats only for children, ladies, senior citizens and handicapped people. Gents are supposed to walk through the flooded tracks with the help of ropes. It was now 3.30 pm, finally the rescue operation started. We started walking through the help of ropes with one hand holding the luggage on the head and other hand holding on to the ropes.


The depth was around 6 feet, somewhere we were supposed to swim as there was the depth more than 8 feet. After 2 kilometers of walk, there was a huge obstacle of crossing the mountain with all the wet clothes and luggage through the muddy way and this distance was 5 kilometers. Finally we came down the hill and tea, food packets were provided to the passengers

The bus was provided till kalyan, so passengers can proceed towards their respective destination from Kalyan. Special train to Kolhapur through the route Kalyan-Kasara-Nashik-Manmad-Daund-Pune was sent.

All this rescue operation took around 3 hours and I reached home at 7 pm. It was a scary, thrilling and different experience.

(This image credits – Google)853855-mahalaxmi-express-train-in-badlapur-afp

All this took 20 hours and it was a life changing experience. I will never forget these 20 hours of my life

  • Picture and story credits Ninad Upadhye

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Visitor's Stories


गर्मी की छुट्टियां मतलब ट्रेन का सफर! गर्मी की छुट्टियों का एक अलग ही एक्साइटमेंट हुआ करता था| गर्मी की छुट्टियों का मतलब ही हुआ करता था कि ट्रेन से कहीं घूमने जाएंगे। सफर हमेशा स्लीपर क्लास में है हुआ करता था, खिड़की के पास वाली सीट मैं हमेशा अपने लिए मांगती थी। ट्रेन टाइम टेबल की एक प्रति हमेशा हमारे साथ होती , फिर जैसे-जैसे स्टेशन आते मैं उस प्रति से चेक करती की ट्रेन कितनी देर यहां रुकेगी और आने वाला स्टेशन कौन सा है? यदि कोई बड़ा स्टेशन आने वाला होता तो मैं भी स्टेशन पर उतरने की तैयारी में रहती।

ट्रेन टाइम टेबल के साथ, चाचा चौधरी ,पिंकी ,बिल्लू ,फैंटम, डोगा, नंदन, चंपक और रीडर्स डाइजेस्ट (लास्ट ऑप्शन) की ढेर सारी कॉमिक्स साथ होती। ट्रेन में लगता की पढ़ने की स्पीड पता नहीं कितनी फास्ट हो गई है और पढ़ने का मन करता ढेर सारी कहानियां। एक और काम में बहुत मन लगता, वह खिड़की के बाहर के नजारे देखने में, कैसे हर कुछ घंटों में मकानों की बनावट, लोगों की वेशभूषा, पेड़ पौधे अलग अलग तरह की फसलें बदलने लगती। हर जगह का एक अलग ही नजारा, आज भी मुझे उतना ही लुभाता है जितना की बचपन में, हर जगह पर उतर कर मैं वहां रहना चाहती थी । वहां के लोगों से बात करना चाहती थी। वहां की हर बात को महसूस करना चाहती थी।

हमारे घर का एक नियम था, सारे साल में जीतने भी फल खाते उनकी गुठलियां सूखा कर सफर में साथ ले जाते और फिर खाली जगहों पर ट्रेन की खिड़की से फेक देते इस कामना के साथ की ये एक बहुत बड़ा फलदार वृक्ष बने।एक अलग सा सुकून और मजा आता सोचकर की अगले कुछ सालों में यहां बड़ा सा पेड़ होगा! फलों से लबालब।

ट्रेन के सफर के लिए भी घर में अलग ही तैयारियां होती थी, नमकीन, बेसन के लड्डू ,रवा के लड्डू, नमक पारे, शक्कर पारे रास्ते में खाने के लिए बनाए जाते थे। पानी पीने के लिए छगल या छोटा कैंपर लेकर लेकर जाया जाता और ट्रेन मे खाया जाने वाला एक दिन का खाना! सूखे आलू, पुडी और आचार। साथ में छोटी स्टील की प्लेटें और गिलास। ट्रेन चलने के साथ ही खाने का डब्बा खुल जाता । चलती ट्रेन में आलू पूड़ी खाने में एक अलग ही स्वाद आता था। फिर शुरू होते थे ट्रेन के खेल लूडो और सांप सीढ़ी, से ऊपर की बर्थ पर चढ़ना उतरना और मम्मी की डांट खा कर चुपचाप बैठ जाना फिर से नजारे देखने के लिए। मैं हमेशा लाल जंजीर खींचकर देखना चाहती थी की ट्रेन कितनी देर में रूकती है?? मम्मी मेरे से इरादे को अच्छी तरह समझ गई थी फिर उन्होंने समझाया की इस तरह शैतानी में चेन खींचने से कितने लोगों को मुसीबत हो सकती है और हमें भी जुर्माना देना पड़ेगा।

ट्रेन से एक अलग सा रिश्ता महसूस होता है। ट्रेन का सफ़र हर उम्र में किया और कर रही हूं। हर बार अलग अहसास दिए मेरे सफर ने। कॉलेज की बास्केट बॉल टीम के साथ जब वेल्लोर गए तब पहले ही मैच में बाहर होने के करण कोच बिना रिजर्व कंपार्टमेंट में बिठा लाए । जीवन का आनंद आ गया। एक ही जगह पर बैठे- बैठे अपने आपको को और सामान को समेटे हुए।सब लड़िकयां खूब गुस्सा थी। पर फिर जैसे जैसे स्टेशन आता यात्री बदल जाते और हम सब भी एक दूसरे के पास आकर बैठ रहे थे। ये भी मजेदार अनुभव था १० – १२ घंटे बाद मैंने एक न्यूजपेपर खरीदा उसे बेर्थो के बीच बिछाया, समान सर के नीचे लिया और सो गई। उस दिन कबीर का दोहा- नींद ना देखे टूटी खाट …. भी समझ आ गया।

अकेले भी बहुत सफर किया, कभी एग्जाम देने के लिए, तो कभी ऑफिस के काम से, मेरी एक दोस्त का तो रिश्ता ही ट्रेन में हो गया था। ट्रेन में ही तो मैं शादी कर कर सारी बारात के साथ आई थी। बारातियों का सामान इतना ज्यादा था की कुलियों ने ट्रेन के कुछ लोगों का भी समान उतार लिया था हमारे साथ। फिर उन लोगों को ढूंढ कर उनका सामान भिजवाया गया।

ट्रेन की एक बोगी में कितने भिन्न-भिन्न तरह के लोग , अलग अलग तरह के कामों के लिए विभिन्न भावों से यात्रा कर रहे होते हैं। आज भी ट्रेन में सफर करना मुझे बेहद पसंद है, इंटरसिटी, राजधानी ,शताब्दी ,गरीब रथ, दुरंतो ट्रेन के सभी क्लासों, पैसेंजर ,लेडीज कंपार्टमेंट सभी में सफर का अनुभव ले चुकी हूं। बचपन का जो मेरा सपना था की ट्रेन से सभी जगह जाऊं आज लगभग पूरा हो चुका है मैं पूरा भारत देख चुकी हूं, मुझे पता है ट्रेन जब वाइल्ड लाइफ सेंचुरी, रिजर्व फॉरेस्ट ,चाय बागान ,सॉल्ट लेक रेगिस्तान ,चंबल के बीहड़, पहाड़ों नदियों, खेतों के बीच से गुजरती है तो कैसा महसूस होता है। दार्जलिंग की टॉय ट्रेन में सफर का अनुभव बहुत ही विशेष है! इंडिन रेलवे ने भी पिछले कुछ वर्षों में बहुत इंप्रूवमेंट किया है, खानपान, सुरक्षा ,साफ टॉयलेट , साफ सफाई, हर क्षेत्र में। पर आज भी महानंदा और कामायनी जैसी ट्रेने धीमी गति से ही चल रही है। मेरी सारी रेल यात्राओं के अनुभव मेरे जीवन में बहुत ही अलग अनुभव लाए। मैं जम्मू और बारामुला के ट्रेन रूट के चालू होने की चालू होने का इंतजार कर रही हूं कश्मीर की वादियों में ब्रिजेस और सुरंगों के बीच के रोमांचक सफर के लिए।

आपकी यात्रा मंगलमय हो।

तो इस बार अपनी रेल यात्रा में फलों के बीज अपने साथ अवश्य जाए और बनाए धरती को हरा भरा।


रितु साकेत वर्मा

लखनऊ, उत्तर प्रदेश ।

लेखिका के अन्य आर्टिकल हिंदी और फौजी मैगज़ीन में पब्लिश किए गए है।

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Visitor's Stories

O meri rail gaadi…

O meri rail gaadi,

Teri baat hi hai kuch atrangi si,
Chahe tujhe kitna bhi kosu, kahin pauch nahi sakta tere bina main.

Tu band hoti hai toh aadha sheher jaise tham sa jaata hai.

Station par khada har aadmi tere intezaar main rehta hai.

Bambayi ki baarish ho ya koi band,
Tere aane se hi ek aasha jaise jag jaati hai ki tu aayegi aur hume saath le jaayegi.

Tere aur mere itne safar ki kahaniyan juddi hai ki ab mere manzil ka ek khaas hissa ban chuki hai tu.

O meri rail gaadi,
Teri baat hi hai kuch atrangi si.

Contributed by : Karan

Visitor's Stories

My favourite rail story

I have always been fan of Railways and when I won’t sleep, my father will narrate me the story of the person who dared to travel in the trains first ever time.

So, I will share with you all the story which was like a everyday affair, yes the same story. Here you go,

Before the launch of Railways, We (Indians) used horses or bullock carts etc for transportation. The launch of trains, though had attracted many of us, but was non the less than a miracle. “How, how the machine could pull so many coaches and passengers all together alone ???? What happens if it doesn’t stops? why it runs so fast, and what is that terrific sound (whistle/ horn) the engine makes???? were the questions people were trying to solve.

With all these questions in mind, no one would dare to get courage and sit in the trains and travel. But some one had to do it, So one Doctor and his wife. The doctor along with his wife traveled in the train and made successful journey and even encouraged people to take up the new mode of travel –  The Railways. And now the railways has become our lifeline be it metro, passenger trains or the trams. Now we dare to sit in train 18 which is the fastest and the latest achievement of Indian Railways.

So, the story was about the brave man that how he initiated for the first ever train journey which was no less than today’s amusement park thrill ride.

The learning being, you have to match with the speed and need of the time, if you don’t you would be thrown and someone else would grab the opportunity.

The first passenger train in India ran between Bombay (Bori Bunder) and Thane on 16 April 1853. The 14-carriage train was hauled by three steam locomotives: Sahib, Sindh and Sultan. It could carry 400 people and ran on a line of 34 kilometers (21 mi).

The customary information is 3:35 pm on April 16th, 1853, when a train with 14 railway carriages and 400 guests left Bombay’s Bori Bunder for Thane, with a 21-gun salute. It was hauled by three locomotives: Sindh, Sultan, and Sahib. The journey took an hour and fifteen minutes.

The legends of the journey i.e. the three steam locomotives Sahib, Sindh and Sultan are very popular among the railfans and a blissful sight to watch for.


Listen to this blissful whistle of the oldest running steam locomotive, 1855 built, EIR 21.

Location : Chennai Egmore, Nungambakkam, Kodambakkam, Mambalam.
Train : Republic Day HERITAGE Special
Loco : EIR 21 “EXPRESS” (EIR : East India Railway).

Sound on Please.


On 16th April 2013 i.e. the 160th anniversary of the first passenger train in India was the subject of Tuesday’s Google doodle.


A postal stamp was also issue depicting 100 years of Indian Railways.


postal stamp


At the end, happy new year to everyone and best wishes – Rail Duniya


WhatsApp Image 2019-01-01 at 08.49.08



References : 1. About the first train journey taken from news articles and Wikipedia.

2. Picture credits of Sindh, Sultan at Instagram :

3. Postal Stamp pic by IRFCA member Vikas Singh :

4. Video Courtesy :