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How travel has become a nightmare in Indian Railways

January 13, 2014 16:28 IST
People travel on a crowded passenger train in Lucknow.

Indian Railways is one of the biggest and busiest rail networks in the world, operating 9,000 passenger trains and transporting up to 20 million passengers every day.

India will soon invite foreign businesses to help expand its once-mighty but now outdated railways, government sources said, in a move that would mark the opening up of one of the country's last great state-controlled industries.

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How travel has become a nightmare in Indian Railways

January 13, 2014 16:28 IST
Commuters struggle to board a train at Noli railway station in Uttar Pradesh

Though Indian train travel is very cheap, and transports some 25 million passengers daily, years of underinvestment mean the service is slow and plagued by frequent accidents, most recently a fire that killed nine people this week, says a Reuters report.

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How travel has become a nightmare in Indian Railways

January 13, 2014 16:28 IST
Passengers travel in an overcrowded train in Patna.

In the 66 years since independence, India has added 13,000 km (8,077 miles) of new railway lines bringing the total size to about 64,000 km (39,767 miles), says Reuters.

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How travel has become a nightmare in Indian Railways

January 13, 2014 16:28 IST

Homemade alcohol containers hang from a train window as people hang from the doors and windows at Parsha Bazar railway station in Bihar. 

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How travel has become a nightmare in Indian Railways

January 13, 2014 16:28 IST

Passengers sit on the floor while traveling inside an overcrowded general class compartment of the Kalka Mail train in Kanpur.

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How travel has become a nightmare in Indian Railways

January 13, 2014 16:28 IST

Children travel on a train heading from Agra to Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh.

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How travel has become a nightmare in Indian Railways

January 13, 2014 16:28 IST

A child sits on the floor of a train heading towards Allahabad from Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh.

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How travel has become a nightmare in Indian Railways

January 13, 2014 16:28 IST

Commuters stand by the open doors of a suburban train as it goes over a bridge in the outskirts of Mumbai.

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How travel has become a nightmare in Indian Railways

January 13, 2014 16:28 IST

A bicycle hangs from the window of a train at Parsha Bazar railway station in Bihar.

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How travel has become a nightmare in Indian Railways

January 13, 2014 16:28 IST

A woman carrying bamboo sticks crosses railway tracks on a foggy winter morning in New Delhi.

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How travel has become a nightmare in Indian Railways

January 13, 2014 16:28 IST

Passengers sit in a train as they wait for electricity to be restored at a railway station in New Delhi.

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How travel has become a nightmare in Indian Railways

January 13, 2014 16:28 IST

A warning sign is seen written on a shutter as a woman exits a toilet inside the sleeper class compartment of the Kalka Mail passenger train on the way to Kolkata. 

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How travel has become a nightmare in Indian Railways

January 13, 2014 16:28 IST

Passengers travel inside an overcrowded general class compartment of the Kalka Mail train in Kanpur.

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How travel has become a nightmare in Indian Railways

January 13, 2014 16:28 IST

A laundryman dries clothes in middle of railway tracks at a suburban station in Mumbai.

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How travel has become a nightmare in Indian Railways

January 13, 2014 16:28 IST

Commuters travel in a train heading from Agra to Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh.

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How travel has become a nightmare in Indian Railways

January 13, 2014 16:28 IST

A man looks out of a compartment of the Kalka Mail passenger train at a railway station in Firozabad in Uttar Pradesh.

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How travel has become a nightmare in Indian Railways

January 13, 2014 16:28 IST

Commuters stand at the open doorways of a suburban train as they head toward their destination in Mumbai.

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How travel has become a nightmare in Indian Railways

January 13, 2014 16:28 IST

A train passes through slums in Mumbai.