The Bullet Train My wild dream of how it can be in India

After seeing it in reality, what exactly this is, it is a fascination for one and all to travel in it.
The Japan Railways paved the way and then the attention was focused on it by China. Of course the TGV speed record of 574.8 Km/Hr in France is really fantastic and must be a breathtaking experience to drive as well as for the travelers inside. Germany and Russia are also having high speed trains. Records say France and Germany are leading in this category.
China’s longest distance Bullet train between Canada and Sanghai is in the anvil.
Looking all these “wonders’, India is going to try her hand, muscle, brain and money to reach the target. As the adage goes, “slow and steady wins the race”, let us also try it out. Anyway, we have reached from the coal fired to diesel to electric from the day the first train with few caboose chugged out from Victoria Terminus to Thane. Thanks to Robert Maitland Brereton, the British Engineer. We can also achieve this feat if we remove so many ifs and buts hurdles from the administration and the citizens’ mind.
It seems there was an earlier proposal for MagLev trains in India and it went into cold storage looking at the cost per kilometer. Mr. Sreedharan could have built a double line for the Konkan Railway and tried out this MagLev.
We have increased the speed from Stephenson’s first engine with 40 Km/hr to 110Km/hr covering over after so many years of struggle. Indeed fine under many aspects. Now we must check why and how and where the derailments occur?
We can be proud today in feeling that we are the fourth in the ranking after US, China and Russia in the length network.
Alas, we could not reach out to the Bullet speed for cleanliness. In fact it is not only the responsibility of the railway administration alone, but also that of us the passengers who travel in it. I would say it is more weighing on us. Unfortunately we are totally neglecting it in spite of our education and foreign travels. We compare the cleanliness of Singapore and US because of the stringent law enforced there. We are helpless there and hence forced to adhere it. But here it is “bindas” as everything is moving in the wrong tracks. We should be blamed for it. When shall we going to come in the right track? Are we still at the starting point of the tunnel and never interested to see the light at the other end?
Coming to brass tracks, the running of Bullet Trains. My dream flies at a tangent as I am afraid because of many ifs and buts hanging in front of me.
Shall we take an oath: “We, Indians will keep the bullet trains neat and clean and hygienic forever and for our coming generations to be proud”? Shall we chant it while we entrain and detrain from the coaches? Just like our National Anthem.
We need special tracks, coaches, control and signals and a regular and thorough check of the hot axles all with micro precision and most important being the proper barricade on both sides of the tracks to avoid the special intruders. It is most often the human beings who can bend the bars and tunnel the walls for easy escape and then the priority goes to animals as they roam around the tracks for the thrown away food from the pantry cars through the passengers who are trying and failing to consume it. The grazing cows and goats of the nearby village farms will try to cross over the track which should be guided through the subways under the track. Anyway, in these types of trains, throwing the waste outside is not possible, let us hope. Why I am a little bit skeptical is that “we” are travelling.
As the travel time is less than two hours for a distance of 600 to 700 Kilometers between destination stations, the requirement of water in the toilets will be very less as an average healthy person can control his bladder. In this he has succeeded in his daily journey between Church gate to Bhayandar in a totally compressed condition in an overcrowded fast train. He can even forget it in the midst of watching a TV Channel of his like as it will be there in every compartment. Best will be Tom and Jerry cartoons during these sojourns. Or he can browse in his laptop or tablet or mobile. Please make it sure that the battery power or generator power is enough and long lasting and sustainable. Here we can try solar panels, if possible on the roof top of coaches. Let us hope that the milk cans will not be hanging on the windows. Then it will be branded as “Bullet Milk”. Hope the emergency exits will be safe and secure, otherwise they will pop out from the second trip onwards making the compartment more airy.
Again, if the entire conservancy department focuses attention towards the bullet trains only, then everything will be back to the square one, as the rats and cockroaches will some or other find their way into the prestigious train as they cannot distinguish and we should have Special Forces to drive these bullet rats and bullet cockroaches. If Special Forces are recruited, others will stop or slow their work.
Let us not spit in sinks and toilet corners. If one does, that is the end. Others will follow. Like the Cap man and the monkey story. He threw his cap and all the monkeys threw it back on him. In Bullet Train, it will splash on you.
So, first let us remove the filth and stink from the stations at bullet speed and then place the Bullet train on the track. Speed at every level speaks out.
When we hear about the cost of the ticket, the life time savings will evaporate at Mach 3 speed, unless someone pays for it or the pension and salary and allowance increase at rocket speed. “Thatkal” ticket will cost a fortune. As good as booking a ticket to Mars in advance!
A common man who is at BPL with Rs 28 or Rs.32 for his daily living can only watch the train flying standing far away. If he or she comes closer, they will be sucked by the speed of the train itself. A onetime journey of life indeed.
Will there be Garib Rath Bullet Trains or it will be Bullock Carts to the poor?!
Why not try out a Double Decor Bullet Train? Centre of gravity will be lowered for better hold on track.
Will there be TT Examiners to catch the ticketless travelers at bullet train speed? For them we can give a punishment. To remain in the train for 15 years and clean the coaches thoroughly. Limited food will be offered. He will die with “Bullet Lag”.
Hope the vested interests will not make the train stop at their HQ? It is a prestige issue of power politics. It is almost like the lines in the Malayalam story’Smaraka silakal’ by Dr. Punathil Kunjabdulla in which the hero Khan Bahadur Pookkoyathangal takes a journey by train from his village where in there is only a rail track to Madras. He stops the express train in front of the village and then on it is declared as a stopping point for all trains and the station was built and got its name Karakkaad.He steps into the coach next to the engine and orders the Anglo Indian driver to start .It became the talk of the town. Then the story takes a different route.
Hope there will be announcements and LED display in all the Indian and foreign languages? By the time if the Bullet Train reaches the destination and the particular language is not announced, the language fanatics will get angry. We have to ‘cool’ them with special treats or make them listen up to the last lingo. Just like LIC and mutual fund announcements, it will be speeded up so that nobody can understand.
Then by which language it should begin will be a question? OK. From which state the train starts will take the cue.
A sane advice to the dear venders in coaches.
Beware! You must wear a powerful magnetic suit to get attached overboard to sell your FMCF (Fast Moving Consumer Foods as you are not allowed inside. Or will there be an emergency exit door under aisle just like the opening in the bus in SPEED through which Keanu Reeves and Sandra bullock escape?Try to learn the spider man tricks. Special schools will be opened from KG level itself to teach. It can be Bullet Train affiliated schools.
The soothsayers and astrologers will have a field day in selling the Rakshas, Roseries, Hanuman Chalisa Manthra books and copper plates etc. They can offer these at the entrance as a welcome kit for the first ’fliers’ especially and old age weak hearts.
Regarding the exterior paintings and naming.
Already the situation in one state with small buses is totally in a mess. No tar or black paint is applied so far to deface it.
Shall we think of painting and naming just like that of Air India Jumbo jets during the good times of JRD Tata? The names of Kings. What a charm it had brought to our country as a flag carrier in the International arena! After JRD no king was born in our country.
If the painting of our great flying king “Hanuman” is drawn at the pilot’s cabin with a long tail engulfing with fire stretching up to the guard end , a doubt will definitely cling in our brains “was Hanuman flying backward after creating an inferno in Ravana’s kingdom and we have no answer for that. Two hanumans from either end may solve the problem. Do not join the tails please. A confusion of Siamese may turn up.
With one Hanuman, again, we cannot have a very long turntable for the entire train which will cost millions and more than that a barren land nearby. It will not be that easy to detach the engine alone from its hermetic sealing and buffer couplings at bullet speed. For this we can ask the experts in Japan to consider the adjoins of MANIYACHI station. The engine goes and disappears to a far away interior forest area after detachment from one end and takes minimum 45 minutes to appear and get realigned and recoupled at the other end. I don’t know whether it is still there as the world’s unique Turntable or UNESCO missed it to fill it in their heritage list. One can have a very good Tiffin time at the station. An ardent artist will really enjoy the billowing smoke lines puffed out by the engine emanating in the surrounding skyline drawing various myriad pictures with a very special pungent aroma of the burning coal.
We can have the painting of our national bird, the peacock, national animal ,the tiger and for that matter the paintings of extinct birds and animals that are poached so that this will be a feast to our next generation who will see only pictures and not real.
So my Bullet Train is surely going to take shape and will be a reality in near future, whether I will be flying in it or not.
By Sundareswaran date: 14th July 2014

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