Slow trains stop at stations; fast ones in between

SWAROOP DEV, in Dubai, falerts us to a piece by blogger MANISH VIJ in Salon magazine, ‘Riding the Train in Bombay’.

“Riding Bombay’s local trains is much more interactive than taking the L line to the Bedford stop in Brooklyn, N.Y. The lack of doors and window glass, which often leaves riders soaked during monsoon season, is partly because of the tropical heat, partly to let Bombay’s 6 million daily commuters jam onboard at maximum speed.

“The city’s above-ground system handles a third more riders each day than the New York subway, where a rush hour crowd means brushing against other riders; in Bombay, rush hour means your chest is crushed, your arms are pinned and you become intimate with your neighbor’s deodorant or lack thereof. You must plan your sweaty escape two stations before your stop arrives and advertise it loudly as you’re fighting your way off so as not to be swept back into the carriage by new passengers. It’s easier to get on
and off, however, if you’re riding on the outside of the train, clinging by your fingers to the empty windowsills, as many rush hour riders do.”