Trains in India are not just a mode of transportation. They are also one of the life support systems of the country. If you are someone who belongs to Delhi or nearby area you must be aware of the tremendous health issues faced by the residents of Delhi because of the growing menace of air pollution. Trains in somewhat or someway provide respite to these people. However, at the same time, this life engine possess a significant threat to the life of people. For example, the Vasco Da Gama-Patna Express derailment that took the life of many. Let us look at how trains are a life saver and life taker.

The Brighter Side of Trains – Life Saver

  1. According to a study published on the website of the University of California, Merced, a rail system help reduce Carbon Monoxide by 5-15%. In addition, trains also help reduce nitrogen oxides in the air. Nitrogen oxides and carbon monoxide are two harmful gasses that pollute the air quality and make people sick.
  2. Intra-city rail transport helps people commute easily and reduce road traffic.
  3. Travelling by trains is cheaper and faster than traveling by road.
  4. It is greenery to travel by train.
  5. Train across the globe accounts for 1.8% CO2 emission in the air, according to the International Energy Agency and the International Union of Railways.

The Ugly Side of Trains – Trains: The Life Taker

Indian trains are insanely crowded. Image courtesy Business Insider

Honestly, what pushed me to come up with this article is the latest news of derailment that took place in Patna in the Indian state of UP. But, I didn’t wish to look like a bad guy here and speak everything against the Indian railway’s system, so, I decided to start by praising about the trains.

The reason why I believe that trains are life taker is the number of a derailment that often we get to hear fortnightly. In the recent derailment, about three people succumbed to death. What surprised me is that fact that whenever a trail or public transport meets with an accident the official, first of all, announces ex-gratia for people who died and suffered serious injuries. I keep a close eye on business news especially to the freight industry and I was surprised to see how Indian authority takes life so calmly. Instead of finding the root cause of the accident the authorities are more concerned about declaring ex-gratia. In the Vasco Da Gama-Patna Express derailment has announced an ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh each to the family of the dead and Rs 1 lakh for those with serious injuries. Is the life of train commuters that cheap?

Let us look at some figures that may shock you:

Train Derailments That Took Place in 2017:

  1. The Kuneru train derailed on 21st January killing 41 and injuring 68
  2. Bhopal–Ujjain Passenger train bombed on 7th March injuring 10
  3. The Meerut–Lucknow Rajya Rani Express derailed on 15th April injuring about 24 passengers.
  4. The 18478 Puri–Haridwar Kalinga Utkal Express derailed in the UP on 19th August killing 23 and injuring about 97.
  5. Auraiya train derailed on 23rd August injuring 100.
  6. Vasco Da Gama-Patna Express derailed on 24th of November killing 3.

These are figures from 2017 only. Do you know how many train accidents or derailment happen in a year on an average? The number is more than five all over the country. The figures are disappointing as many rely on trains to travel to far reach and even nearby areas such as Mumbai.

The year has not ended yet. It is easier to say that train accident rates are less or fewer than the number of deadly road accidents that take place almost every day. The point here is not about the comparisons, but, are trains are a ride to death or life? Looking at the figures can you think of traveling safely anywhere in India?


Geetika Sachdeva

I have 7+ years of experience in the field of writing. I have worked as a blogger for a devotional TV channel, Channel Divya, Sub-editor for Tri-City Calling a lifestyle magazine and business research associate with WNS. I can write on a wide variety of topics with lifestyle being my forte. My passion for writing has helped me author 12 non-fiction ebooks, contribute to international news websites and online journals.

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