Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Thoughts in the train

The ease with we can cancel and rebook railway tickets on the net, surely must have led to the railways raking in more moolah, right?

I am glad that the agents who used to practically run the railways have been put out of work thanks to the internet. This is one category that nobody is lobbying to fight for.

The railways still does not think that there is enough traffic to justify a double line between Bombay and Bangalore (and many other places). As our train slid into a sliding to wait for yet another train to pass - well atleast these days the wait is not more than a few minutes.

Railway food seems to get worse each passing year - pantry car or no pantry car. Puhlees, please dont write about the romance in railway food. If you do, you have not travelled recently. The watery tea, the vegetable that is mostly red chilli powder - yuck.

The Bombay Bangalore bus beats the train by a cool 6 hours - if only the railways woke up to offer overnight sleeper cars between major cities, it can chew up the airlines (who have already been chewed on by the fuel hike).

The railways truly were a social networking tool - the kind of diverse people we meet in a train - and in that sense it is the "old" internet.

For the speeds that the trains move (average 50kmph), I am not sure we need high tech locos - those steam fellas would have have done the job.

The Bombay-Bangalore train follows the exact route that the trains followed nearly 20 years ago. There is barely any change in speed (except that because of a generous buffer, trains pretty much reach on time).

How long before we have better (I mean, real) loos in the train - rather than use the tracks as a toilet?


barbadkatte said...

Real loos will happen when the fertilizer cost shoots up and railways finds that selling poo is a win-win. My guess is that we should get there in about five years time.

ggop said...

They turned in a profit right?
Time for some reinvestment of the profits into services. Agree about everything - I only want a ban on cellphones between 11pm-5am. :-)

Nikhil Narayanan said...

If you ask me what has been the best offering from Govt. in the recent times, its nothing but IRCTC's online booking. It has been working really well but for some server overloads during peak times on and off.
They should insert ads in the etickets as well, more ad revenues(printing at the commuter's cost!)

Food is getting bad day by day. Thanks to contractors who work under IRCTC.
I firmly believe the bus lobby has a huge influence in controlling the speed,timings and frequency of trains.
Beat this, Bangalore Trivandrum is well connected by Volvos that charge 800-900 but trains are at arbit timings. Leaving in the night and reaching at 3pm ish.
Better timed trains are not daily and NEVER run a Blore Tvm on a Friday or return on a Sunday.

Shoot these bus guys!
Why would I pay 900 for a journey filled with all forms of discomfort when 3AC costs lesser than that!