500+ Words Essay on Railway Station
Railway termini are our gates to the glorious and the unknown. Through them, we pass out into adventure and sunshine, to them, alas! We return. – E. M. Forster
A railway station is a facility on a railway track or line where trains stop to load and unload passengers or freight or both. Railway stations can be above ground, underground or elevated. The world’s oldest railway station is The Mount on the Oyestermouth Railway in Wales, United Kingdom. It first began its services in the year 1807.
At that time, the trains were pulled by animals like horses and were not complete locomotives. The Indian Railways is the fourth largest railways network in the world and is run by the government. It is one of the world’s busiest railway network and is humongous in its scale, size and operations. It is also one of the world’s cheapest long-distance transportation mechanism.
India’s first train ran in Madras in the year 1837, and the Indian Railways came into existence in April, in the year 1853. The Indian railway’s transport around 8.1 billion people per year, which is more than the entire population of the world.
A Typical Day at the Railway Station
Let us now describe what a typical day at the railway station looks like. As soon as we reach the premises of the train station, we find it to be overly crowded with taxis, buses, autos, cars and rickshaws.
Some of them have people who are to be dropped at the station, while many others are seen waiting for passengers to hop in and reach their destinations. Coolies or porters eye you from the time your vehicle crosses the barrier and come running to it to take your luggage.
Noises of quarrelling and bargaining can be continuously heard with and around them. There are numerous brick and mortar shops of books, newspapers, food items, etc. and several canteens can also be found.
Street vendors or hawkers are also present on various spots who speak loudly or even shout to gain the attention of the local public. They keep roaming from one place to the other, along with the items that they are selling. There are various facilities available on the railway station for the passengers, including waiting rooms as well as ticketing booths and restrooms.
Many can be seen waiting at the platform, sitting on cemented benches, or even on their own suitcases. Some even spread a bed sheet or a mat on the floor and rest there while waiting for their train.
Railway stations also serve as a sleeping place for many poor people. A lot of times, addicts can also be found lurking in shady areas like train station bridges, empty tracks and isolated corners. The main highlight of a railway station is when a train approaches it.
People suddenly get over-excited. The ones who have to board, stand at the platform waiting, while at the same time, those who have to deboard are eager to get down in haste. None of them wants the other one to pass first, and thus, a scene of utter chaos and madness takes place.
People boarding are in a rush to get to their seats, while those who have just stepped down the train want to make it to the exit as soon as possible. During all this commotion, few people also get hurt and are pick-pocketed.
Because of all the force of pushing and pulling, people do not realise when their wallets or purses have been carefully snatched or taken away from them. At the exits, we see some people waiting to receive their friends or relatives. Drivers even hold placards in their hands so that the person coming can identify them.
Indian Railways – An Employer
The Indian Railways is the largest employer in India, with about 1.3 million employees and is also the seventh biggest employer in the world. It not only gives an economic boost to the economy but is also responsible for the livelihood of many people. It provides jobs to a number of human beings in direct as well as indirect ways.
Station masters, train drivers, the railway security, the ticket collector, the railway station cleaners, etc. are people who are directly employed by the railway station authorities. Their salaries are fixed by the government and are revised every ten years.
Railways are also responsible for generating a lot of employment indirectly. People need some mode of transport to move to and fro from the railway station. Hence, autowalas, rickshawwalas and cab drivers earn a living this way.
When people are waiting on the platform, they always like to indulge in some snacks or tea and coffee; hence a lot of small food and beverage vendors earn their bread and butter in this manner. Train journeys are generally long, and people are always looking out for ways to pass their time on the ride.
Therefore, the elders buy newspapers, magazines and books that are displayed and parents resort to buying toys and playing cards for their children. This gives an opening for the hawkers to make money honestly instead of begging, doing criminal activities like stealing, etc.
Recent Developments in the Indian Railways
To increase and improve the quality of travel in the general class, the Indian railways introduced Deen Dayalu Coaches which are unreserved and are equipped with better and enhanced facilities like potable drinking water, charging points, bio-toilets and coat hooks.
Few railway stations also have an executive lounge waiting area where the ambience and the experience are just like that of a five-star hotel. This venture has been opened in collaboration with The Leela Group of Hotels. The Indian railways also flagged off their first CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) train in the northern zone of India.
This was done as a green initiative to curb the greenhouse effect and ultimately lessen global warming. More and more railway stations are being equipped with their own WiFi facility. Passengers can make use of this free service through their mobile verification.
This project is being done with the help of Google. Indian railways are also moving towards technological advancements and the day when bullet trains would be a common sight in India is not very far.