India is a developing country in all the senses. Despite having one of the top 10 economies in the world, the disparity between the rich and poor is very evident today. The country is relatively young, having attained independence about 70 years ago and is on a great path to be a global leader in the next few decades. India is an agricultural dependent country, and naturally, the majority of the population performs farming or related activities. In order for the nation to flourish properly, there needs to be an effective transportation system that can carry loads and people.
The Railways has been around for more than a hundred and fifty years and has been instrumental in the development and progress of modern day India. It has carried goods and supplies along with transporting huge masses during the most perilous and needful times in the nation. The fact that the Railways still function smoothly and keep on increasing their passenger count and revenue each year is a testament to the robustness of the railroads in India.
Each year the Indian Railways carries over 8 billion passengers and rakes in about 30 billion dollars in revenue. These numbers make it one of the most well used public sector services in the world. It has thrived so well for all these years due to one reason, cheap ticketing and the availability of many classes on trains.
The general population of the country earns way lesser than the global average income per capita, the I understands this situation and has kept the prices of the tickets across all routes virtually the same. Even when the distance of the journey is over a few thousand kilometers, the ticket prices are relatively very cheap. This makes trains the go-to travel option for people from all sorts of backgrounds. This leads to an intermingling of people from all castes, backgrounds and statuses in many trains and stations. Whether it is Delhi to Patna trains or Kashmir to Kanyakumari trains, one can very easily find a very diverse crowd in a train.
Another major factor that has managed to keep the Railways relevant is the class compartment system. This system which allots cabins with distinct features such as air conditioning, bedding and food, and can differ from train to train and cabin to cabin. This division allows for people to take the journey on their own terms and needs. Some may think it is unnecessary to go on an air-conditioned cabin or depending on the budget some can afford to spend a little extra and go for comfortable travel.
Trains also make for places where one can exchange great stories and pick up some new memories. For this reason, alone many people prefer to travel via trains. Many great photographers, filmmakers, and writers have all used the Railways in some form as their muse. Trains are a means of livelihood to some people; the IR also employs over 2 million people. Thus, its importance can never be understated and will be cherished for years to come.