Over the last decade or so, India has accelerated the pace of replacing its narrow and meter gauge railways with the bigger, faster broad gauge. While the socio-economic benefits of the broad gauge are many, its arrival has ended the era of the slow, leisurely travel – the kind that a few hopeless romantics like me still yearn for.

Travelling on these lines meant taking in the country at its own pace. Plenty of time to mingle with the locals, be a part of their lives and their landscapes. There would be time to walk out of the station to catch a chai and a samosa at a halt. A chance for a long conversation with the stationmaster or khalasi. These vanishing railways are blurring the faintĀ line between Bharat and India.

Sharing a few memories from my extensive travels along these lines.

 

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