Saturday, July 9, 2016

Chinese Railways

Tracks cascading down from Beijing Railway Station

We in India are far too late in modernizing the railways and introducing high speed trains and. Politics and corruption has held us back and has pushed us back along with backward economies which have railways. Whether European, American, Japanese, Koreans or Chinese railways, we are far behind them and it will take decades to even come anywhere near them. One would like to add that even Malaysia has stolen a march over us.

Another view of  Beijing Railway Station
 For the first time in decades PM Modi, in active collaboration with a brilliant Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu, is trying to lift the Railways from the morass it has got bogged down in. And yet there is no shortage of critics. For years ministers of railways not only used the ministry as a political tool and garner votes. Budget after budget it was populism that ruled with no steps for lifting up this massive asset of the country.

Nose like that of a aircraft
If one looks at the inese Railways one would realize what the Chinese have achieved in thirty years. I had occasion to travel in Chinese Railways in 1982, though for short distances, they were no better than our railways. The coaches used to be imported from the communist-ruled East Germany. Nonetheless, services for
Cabins too like those in aircraft
the passengers were of a much higher order. I had occasion to seeeven the Shanghai Railway Station. It was not even like our VT but there was a huge lounge with sofa sets and their crocheted toppings. Wall to wall Chinese paintings dominated the hall. No
Seats exuding luxury
clutter of baggage as baggage had to be booked in what we call brake vans.

The change that we see in pictures today is so remarkable. Not only are the Chinese gloating over a futuristic railways that they have, they have become consultants for others, including us. I am putting up a few photographs of Chinese railways for friends to see. All of these have been taken from the internet. Take a look.  

*As indicated in the text all photos are from internet
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DISAPPEARING FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION Rama Chandra Guha, free-thinker, author and historian Ram Chandra Guha, a free-thinker, author and...