Mumbai Train Never Stops


My train stops in the middle of the tunnel. The light turns off.

In the darkness, I am not surprised when this happens.

I am one of the over 4 million daily commuters who take Greater Paris' public transport --- metro, train, and bus.

* Greater Paris = I mean, Ile de France Region, which includes Paris, and its seven suburban districts.

And it stops quite often.

The reasons ---Technical problems, signals out of order, sick passengers, person on the rail (!), passengers' accidents, strikes (oh yes!), and so on.

And it happens every day on any of these city's metro or train lines.

--- How comes a train stops when a passenger feels sick !? Cannot imagine that

in Mumbai ! You cannot block over 7 million passengers every time when

someone is sick in train !

A Mumbaiker said.

Yes, when a passenger does not feel well, one can pull alarm lever, which stops the train/metro temporary, and does not re-start unless medical staffs arrive and take care of the maladie.

So, what about the case in Mumbai?

It DID stop recently. At the beginning of monsoon season, trains stopped due do heavy rain, and ran slowly.

So called "Local", Mumbai railways have two terminus in South Mumbai, Western Railways (WR) from Churchgate Station, and Central Railways (CR) from Chhatrapati Shibaji Terminus (CST, former Victoria Terminus, a World Heritage Building).

The very first train ran from Bori Bundar (now CST) to Thane (North Mumbai) in 1853.

As the city has been expanding to the north and to the east from narrow peninsula area,

Locals carry over 7 million commuters per day to ensure activities in South Mumbai.

88% of people travels by Locals.

Rajiv Gandhi Sea Link, known rather as Bandra-Worli Sea Link carries car-commuters since year 2009 in pararel of Locals. Yet, traffic jam is eternal problem of the city.

You may have seen packed Mumbai trains' images with passengers hanging at the car door.

When I took Local for the first time, I realized that even when the train was quite empty, passengers stayed by doorside just for cooler air coming through the door, or, exactly to say, the structure of the door, because Mumbai train has no door.

During peak hours, in a 9-cars-rake with 1700 passengers carrying capacity, over 4500 passengers are packed. So how many passengers per square metre ???

Though the number is decreasing, thousands of passengers are killed every year during travel by train in Mumbai.

I never dare to take Local during rush hour.

I took in the afternoons.

At each 15 seconds' stop in the station, people rushes in/out.

When I step on Local's platform, I have to know where the Ladies' (Ladies' coach) stop, to be sure to get into a right women's only car.

It's easy.

Just go to the place where many women are waiting.

And as always, Mumbaikers are helpful.

Once two ladies helped me out to get in the right coach in Bandra Station.

I had an enjoyable trip with them up to Churchgate Station, taking video and selfie with our mobiles ;-D

You may be familiar with two South Mumbai Stations through two successful movies --- "Slumdog Milionaire" (2008) and "The Lunchbox" (2013).

The last danse scene of "Slumdog Milionaire" was shot in CST Station, where was also the theatre of 2008 terrorist attack.

In "The Lunchbox", main role Saajan (performed by Irrfan Khan) is WR's daily commuter from Bandra Station to Churchgate Station, and the scenery in the Local is very very well discribed.

Chhatrapati Shibaji Terminus (CST), former Victoria Terminus, a World Heritage Building

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