Warning: This image may cause severe discomfort for Fire Marshals (or any compassionate human being).
Okay, I know what you’re thinking: “Is there really a train under there? And, if so, can it even leave the station? Is that legal?” Unfortunately, the answer is yes, yes, and (sigh) yes. In India, ridiculously overcrowded trains (like this one headed for a Hindu festival) are the norm.
Despite rapid economic growth over the past 20 years, India hosts one of the world’s “largest, most decrepit and dangerous” railway systems. British leaders developed railroads in India at the end of the 19th century. Now, over 60 years since gaining its independence from the colonial power, the nation still uses the same tracks.
This lack of development has lead to hundreds of unnecessary deaths and serious economic losses. But why? These 10 photos take a look at India’s failing rail system and its potential for future reform.
Photo: K.K. Arora/Reuters