Have you ever wondered how +Rail travel used to be in +India, in the past and how it has changed in the present time. As we learn from our elders and read in magazines , trains used to be quite different, 50-60 years ago. The trains of that time were pulled by + steam engines and were not very fast. There used to be a great noise of the locomotive, puffing and chugging away. They used to throw away a lot of black smoke into the air. Along with the smoke , a lot of soot was also thrown out , which used to flow with the breeze, into the compartments, dirtying everything. In no time everyone had dirty , blackened faces and dirty hair. Very frequently coal grit used to get into people`s eyes. It is said that , there were no air conditioned coaches at that time and travel was very uncomfortable, especially in the summers. People who travelled in first class could pay extra to have a slab of ice placed in their compartment. The overhead fans used to produce some amount of cooling. Some people used to carry earthen pitchers to get cool drinking water. The people in lower classes had to rough it out in the heat and dust, constantly cooling their bodies with wet towels.
During the winters, people had to carry holdalls to carry with them, beddings as well as blankets as it used to become extremely cold, especially at night. In those days people used to carry their belongings in steel trunks as light weight suitcases were not available. The poor coolies had a tough time, carrying on their heads the heavy steel trunks and holdalls.
Generally people used to travel unreserved and there used to be frequent quarrels over seats. There also used to be overcrowding as there was no limit to the number of passengers who could get into the compartment. Can you imagine that people had to sit on wooden seats as there used to be no cushions, except for the higher classes. How uncomfortable it used to be. Along with this people were forced to carry their food from home. This used to be messy. Indians are used to carrying very elaborate food stuffs in their tiffin carriers, till today. In no time you will see the chapaties, poories and parathas , which are types of pancakes made of wheat flour, roasted or fried. Along with this there will be some curries, pickles etc. Constant eating would help them to pass the time. People would love to share their food with other passengers.
Compare all this with the present day electric trains , which are fast and comfortable, with air conditioning , bedding provided and meals served on your seat. There are superfast, non stop trains, fully reserved now.
We should appreciate that we are much better off compared to the previous generation.
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