RT...

I came back from long vacation recently. Itinerary being -

Bangalore --> Delhi --> Varanasi --> Lucknow --> Unchahar --> Lucknow --> Delhi --> Bangalore.

Except for one train journey (Lucknow - Delhi), all the travels by train and plane were on time, "RT" as they write on the Rail inquiry boards. And I really feel good about this overall RT experience.

The train delay was interesting. We were coming from Lucknow to Delhi by this Kaifiyat Express (Super fast). It runs from Azamgarh (Kaifi Azami's birth place and now famous for Abu Salem) to Delhi. It was an hour late at Lucknow and we boarded the train at 12:00am in the morning. When I woke up later in the morning, we were heading towards Aligarh and we were around 2 and a half hour late already. Aligarh is around 2 hrs from Delhi at full speed.

At Aligarh, the train stopped, and after sometime we started wondering why, and then were sure that this train is now going to pass Rajdhanis heading towards Delhi. But first came a goods train and it irritated us a lot. What the heck, a super fast train is stopped to pass goods train, what have we come to. After the goods train, the Rajdhani procession started. We kept counting, first Howrah Rajdhani, then Bhubhaneshwar, then Guwahati, then Ranchi and the last Sealdah Rajdhani. We were standing there for full 2 hours. Finally we reached Delhi some 5 and a half hours late. I saluted the patience of Indian commuters (including yours truly). And realized that it was a good idea to pass the goods train first while stopping us at Aligarh (a decent station), otherwise they would have stopped our train at some remote station for two hours and some commuters would sure have lost their patience.

~mks

PS - While writing this blog, I came across this nice website maintained by Indian Railway Fans called IRFCA or Indian Railway fan club. They have got one huge photo gallery containing lots of photos and videos of Indian Railways in action. I consider myself a fan of Railways, and am wondering why didn't I come acorss this earlier.

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