I foot plated for 15 years in Mumbai, traveling in driving cabs of EMUs with Motormen friends and electric locomotives with driver friends.
That ended some 30 years ago when I left India. Or did it really???
The relationship that was forged during this period is so close that I travel with friends who still work for Railway as Motorman, Driver or Driving Inspector.
Life in railway is more or less similar to our life, good, bad and ugly
However, due to trespassing, M/men in Mumbai (and may be other cities too) witness many deaths.
During 15 years I saw 50 incidents. I have heard "a familiar but deadly thud" when someone gets knocked out. Imagine a life of M/man with 30+ years of service.
They only count # of coroner court visits. If a person knocked by train dies within 24 hours, M/man is summoned by coroner.
25 hours or more, there is no coroner; it's natural death, period.
Commuters have no idea what the life of Railway crew is, how their managers beat the odds to keep the trains running. Only the insiders know that part of the picture.
Those 250+ M/men and some 30+ A-grade drivers were integral part of my life
till I left the country. I shared their happiness as well as sorrows.
I had sent some articles about my experience to IRFCA quite some time back. As new members join in, I felt the need to preserve them in one place for everyone to share my joy and sorrows.
I am not a writer by profession so please excuse me for errors, offenses, if any.
Part 1 Driving with Chief Commercial Superintendent
Part 2 What is in the name?
Part 3 Ladies' First class
Part 4 M/men and health problems
Part 5 EC Pull at Vasai
Part 6 Accident at Vasai
Part 7 M/man Khanna gets married
Part 8 Kaka, Kaka and Kaka
Part 9 Power of Red Flag
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