We Indians don't deserve Train 18! As we share videos and feel proud of this new achievement of Indian Railways, let's also make sure we don't have to hang our heads in shame!
We Indians don’t deserve Train 18! The first time this reporter previewed Train 18, India’s first engineless train for long-distance travel, I voiced the apprehension to Indian Railways officials – will we (passengers) be able to maintain this? Will we be able to do justice to this swanky new next-generation offering from Indian Railways? Today’s incident proves that my fears were not unfounded. During its semi-high speed trials on the Delhi-Agra stretch, Train 18 suffered damage because a vandal who broke its glass. The unfortunate news was shared by ICF GM Sudhanshu Mani on his Twitter handle. “Train 18 running at 180 km/h bet Delhi and Agra at this time…Srinivas, the Chief Design Enginner of ICF is in the cab, they touched 181 kmh for record sake…some vandal threw a stone breaking a glass, hope we nab him.”
This is not the first time that Indian Railways has suffered loss and damage of property due to errant passengers who indulge in acts of vandalism. Last year, passengers on the newly launched Tejas Express between Mumbai and Goa had damaged its entrainment screens and stolen headphones. The acts were so rampant that Indian Railways took the call not to fit future Tejas Express trains with such aircraft-like entertainment features. From ticketless travel, to stealing health faucets, mugs and even blankets and pillow covers – there have been innumerable instances of passengers playing with national assets on the Indian Railways network.
Train 18 running at 180 km/h bet Delhi and Agra at this time…Srinivas, the Chief Design Enginner of ICF is in the cab, they touched 181 kmh for record sake ??…some vandal threw a stone breaking a glass, hope we nab him. pic.twitter.com/YXpqUS6qqC
— ManiSudhanshu (@ManiSudhanshu58) December 20, 2018
As we (citizens) look at progressive governments to improve our standards of living and provide better amentities in all spheres of life, we must ask ourselves the important question – do we respect what comes our way? Would we treat a new TV set or car at our homes in the same way? What would be our reaction if a vandal were to throw a stone and shatter the windscreen of our car (new or old!). Indian Railways time and again faces criticism for the condition of its trains and stations, but we must ask ourselves – does the blame lie entirely at the national transporter’s doorstep? Are we as passengers not responsible for not dirtying trains and stations?
Train 18 is likely to be flagged off by PM Narendra Modi on December 29 on the Delhi-Varanasi route. As we share videos and feel proud of this new achievement of Indian Railways, let’s also make sure we don’t have to hang our heads in shame!