Connecting India Indian Railways Essay

1654 words - 7 pages

Connecting India- Weak or Strong?This year Indian Railways completes its 161 years of service to the nation. From the humble beginning of Mumbai to Thane train to emergence of a 1,15,000 km network with 7000 stations, this organization strives ahead to emerge as powerful a railway as its competitive member countries like China, Japan, USA. The article will examine what actually hinders such a gigantic organization from becoming powerful in the light of the competitive world railway systems and why is it unable to match with standard of facilities of railway systems of the world ?April 16,1853 was a red letter day in the history of India. India got its first rail link connecting Mumbai and Thane. The train was hauled by 3 three locomotives namely Sindh, Saheb and Sultan. The wave of the green flag marked the beginning of railway operations in India. But it was not easy as it seems from the surface. The railways in India were looked upon with suspicion by the Indians and this suspicion was further fuelled by the negative views of some leftist people such as Romesh Chandra Dutt and Karl Marx who looked upon it as wasteful and hazardous expenditure. While some of them might have looked upon it as a means for the British to expand their control over India which infact was the idea behind its introduction. The other side of this "risk" taken by he British was to keep the inflow of raw materials to their homeland and also to maintain the movement of military and materials from one par of the country to another. There were besides other reasons which we might never know.161 years have passed ever since the first train rolled down the tracks of Indian Territory and has now emerged as the largest PSU employing more than 1, 00, 000 people who are technically skilled to run this massive Government machinery. But have we succeeded in succeeding technically? The answer would be 'NO'. If we look at the strength of our railway in comparison to other railway networks suh as China, we lag far behind in every respect. The first retarding factor is in terms of speed. Countries like China operate trains at speeds of 300 kmph or for instance France which runs trains at the speed faster than sound. India runs trains at a mere speed of 110 kmph. In the recent years India has only managed to increase the speed by another 40 kmph, with the Shatabdi express between New Delhi and Bhopal running at a speed of 150 kmph. India had its first increment in speed in 1971 when the speed of Rajdhani Express was increased from 120 kmph to 135 kmph. The major factor behind such trict contraints in speed are many. To name a few, the topographical and geographical features, age-old track structures which are slowly getting transformed.To be more technical in ths respect, it is the weight of the track that plays an important in determining the speed at which the train will operate. India has different track weights of which 60kg/m is the highest and the lowest is 45kg/mWhat is more...

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