Romance of the Indian Railways

Program recording

Apurva Bahadur began the evening by speaking about his passion for the Indian Railways. A committed Rail fan, he showcased beautiful images from his collection to communicate a simple fact, that one can get interested in the railways from any city in India. With many rail lines in and around Pune, Apurva took it upon himself with the support of other enthusiasts to document the many trains that travel to and from Pune. He ended the introduction segment by speaking about how each and everyone of us is a railway enthusiast.

The next segment was concerned with the role of the internet in the lives of Rail Fans. A small group in Pune grew to become an international community by leveraging the power of the internet.

The next segment was titled ‘Trains as an object of beauty’. The presentation focussed on how Rail Fans view trains as aesthetic engineering locomotive. This idea was clear in the images that were shown.

Why is Apurva Bahadur a Rail fan? Our presenter truly belives that the railways and the system is worth documenting. The next generation could benefit from the efforts of Rail Fans as railway employees and personnel really do not have the time to document and learn about the entire system. A project that once started for fun is now a purpose for Apurva.

How does Apurva rail fan? Many rail fans travel together and branch out once they reach the designated spot. Rail fanning includes an enthusiast on the computer providing real time updates about trains, travelling to various spots with the permission of railway officials and a great deal of excitement in anticipation for the train.

‘An introduction to our backyard’, the next segment spoke of how being a Rail Fan is possible right in our backyard. One may not be able to start capturing the beauty of trains in different states. But it is always possible to travel a couple of kms to the closesy station and start one’s journey as a Rail fan.

Shindawane Ghat was the first section of the main presentation. The beauty of the images left the audience spellbound. Apurva’s passion in photographing the trains shone through his presentation. Many others images included images of cotton candy vendors, station masters and his staff. The nostalgia trip had begun.

A lot of the images highlighted how many people live by the tracks. Regular life for these residents involves frequently crossing the tracks to procure milk and other supplies. Apart from the engineering marvels that the Railways offer, it is truly connected to the lives of the people who live by its tracks.

The second place Apurva introduced to his audience is Daundaj. The first image featured the Maharashtra express. An iconic image of this series was of the Palkhi procession beside the tracks by the Warkari.

The third section of the presentation was about Adarki. The best image from this section was an image shot from the state highway running parallel to the road. It is a remote line only 110 kms away from Pune. An interesting facet of the station is that it has a horseshoe track and also a three-language stone board. The station name is written in Hindi, English and Urdu.

Another memorable image from this section is the image of the train passing in between two hills. Also known as the ‘kati pahad’.

This was followed by the Konkan Railways which is a more recent development. The first image was of the Jan Shatabdi express.

The final section of the presentation featured an introduction to the Bhor Ghat and the abandoned meter gauge alignment. The latter included any abandoned tunnels and bridges which are now inhabited by bats . Other tunnels are used by nearby farmers to lock water and use it for the purpose of horticulture.

The first program of GyaanPedia came to an end with a Q&A session. The audience greatly appreciated the initiative. Stay tuned to know more about our upcoming events.

Nityaasha Foundation