Whenever I travel by Public Transport, I am intrigued by the concept of ‘Sonder’ time and time again. It came to mind even more during my stay in India, while visiting some of the biggest and busiest railway stations in the world. Sonder is defined as the realization that each passerby has a life as vivid, complex and rich as your own. It made me think of my friends back home, and the richness of their lives. Although just one thought away, I hadn’t spoken to them in a while. I figured they were just one prepaid refill away as well, and promised myself to contact them soon.
The railway network of India is known as one of the largest and busiest of the entire world. People, moving. All heading for a certain direction. Trying to reach a particular destination. They all have a name, a birthday, dreams, hopes, ambitions, routines, friends, worries, a past, a future, a family, a favorite song. They all have a story to tell. Maybe they just received bad news, maybe today is one of the most important days in their life. Maybe not. And here we are, all sitting together for a while in a train heading to Mumbai.
It seems impossible to put into words how crowded the The Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus Railway station in Mumbai was. It clearly is the busiest railway station in the entire world. Through the years, it became the most important transport hub in the world’s busiest rail network of India. This unique UNESCO World Heritage Site, carries around three million passengers a day. Imagine that.
If you ask me, the most memorable railway station of India is the Gorakhpur Railway Station. It’s huge! This station has always been a very important junction in Northern India. With no less than 1366 meters (0,850 miles), the Railway Station gives house to the world’s longest Railway platform. You almost wouldn’t believe your eyes, while standing on the platform.
The city of Kolkata, is the home of the oldest Railway Station in all of India. The Howrah Railway Station is special, since it was India’s first Railway Station. Due to a great increase of traffic, plans for the new station building were proposed in 1901. The station has been in service as of 1 December 1905. This means the building is over a century old!
Have you ever heard of the amazing Dudhsagar Waterfall? It is one of the best kept travel-secrets in India. The falls are easily accessible via the Dudhsagar Railway Station. It is possible to catch a morning train to the station and spend several hours at the falls. When you are ready to go, just take an afternoon train back. Doesn’t that sound amazing?
The waterfall is located right between breathtaking scenery overlooking a deep and beautiful tropical forest valley. This valley is accessible on foot or by train only. Near the top of the falls, the railway line from Vasco to Londa crosses the mountainside, with excellent views from the train. Don’t miss out on this amazing view, it was an experience I will never forget!
In India, the railways are of great importance for the inhabitants of the country. Modern India was built upon them. It’s a lifeline running through the entire country. The India Railways cover a distance of no less than 65,000 kilometers (40389 miles) and carries over 30 million passengers a day. All passengers unique, just like everyone else.