Rajeev Bhattathiripad is an avid traveller, quizzer and a story teller par excellence, who with his Wodehousian humour and John Le Carre style of suspense will keep you hooked to the last words when he writes.
As a traveler, Rajeev is a railway enthusiast and has made some of the most interesting train journeys in India, on fascinating routes, some unheard of, on all the three gauges of Indian Railway, that is, Broad, Meter and Narrow. His stories that bind travel into making it possibly one the of the most cherished memories for all of us is what we will listen from Rajeev in this Podcast.
In this episode of the show Travel Conversations (TC) on The Rustik Travel Podcast Rajeev takes us on a nostalgic train journey with the Indian Railways.
Podcast Summary: Reminiscing Train Journeys
00:00:00 – 00:09:22: Introduction. How the fascination for the railways started. Early train journeys. Maharashtra to Kerala route.
00:09:23 – 00:17:20: Nostalgic moments of a train ride. Comics, books, drinking water from clay surahis, khus khus curtains, TTEs and ticket reservations, fellow passengers, holdalls.
00:17:21- 00:30:15: Planning trips to specifically learn, explore and experience the different aspects of the railways.
Broad vs Meter vs Narrow Gauge:
Meter Gauge: Pallakkad, Rameshwaram, Rajasthan – Udaipur, Chittorgarh. Omkareswar (from Akola). Dhulghat spiral. Agartala – Lumding.
Narrow Gauge: Matheran. Satpura lines – Nagpur-Chindwara-Jabalpur. Himachal Pradesh – Kalka, Shimla. Darjeeling. Coonoor-Ooty.
Driving with the locomotive driver.
00:30:18- 00:32:55: Nostalgic, funny moments and stories.
Sleeping through the journey and missing the station.
Traveling without a ticket.
00:32:55- 00:42:08: Broad vs Meter vs Narrow Gauge (contd.). Role of the guard. Exchange of tokens. Books and authors of train related. Meeting with Bill Aitken and Ruskin Bond.
Indian Railways vs. trains in other countries.
00:42:08- 00:54:12: RailFanning. Indian Railways Fan Club (IRFCA). Early trains (pre-independence days). Rail museums. Railway terminology. Electric, Diesel and Steam Engines. IRCTC, ticketing manual vs computerisation.
00:54:13- 01:00:50: Scary moments and stories (contd.). “Patient cured, snake dead.”
01:00:51- 01:06:20: Food and delicacies on the platforms. Stations design and architecture.
01:06:20- 01:07:31: Concluding remarks.