The tra­vails of rail pas­sen­gers

Sunday Times (Sri Lanka) - - NEWS - Story and pix by Priyan­tha Wick­ra­ma­rachchi

Tens of thou­sands of peo­ple com­mute daily us­ing the coun­try’s rail sys­tem. Un­for­tu­nately, it is not the most com­fort­able or safest ride for the thou­sands who use the ser­vice.

Trains over­flow­ing with pas­sen­gers hang­ing from foot­boards, dur­ing the rush hour is a com­mon sight on our rail tracks.

Most trains, dur­ing the morn­ing and evening rush hours, are so crowded, large num­bers of pas­sen­gers have no al­ter­na­tive but to risk life and limb dan­gling on the foot­board of the car­riages.

De­spite nu­mer­ous warn­ings against trav­el­ling on foot­boards of mov­ing trains and de­spite cau­tion warn­ings against get­ting off or into a train be­fore it comes to a com­plete stop at the sta­tion, pas­sen­gers, in­tent on get­ting seats, get­ting onto the ear­li­est train pos­si­ble, tend to ig­nore th­ese warn­ings; some­times with tragic re­sults.

Pas­sen­gers also have a hard time get­ting into and out of trains due to re­luc­tance of self­ish per­sons to make way for in­com­ing and out­go­ing pas­sen­gers.

As a re­sult, one of­ten sees pas­sen­gers fight­ing to dis­em­bark and/ or get into crowded trains at sta­tions.

Trains are also prone to de­lay be­tween sta­tions and cause long traf­fic blocks at level cross­ings.

Dur­ing rush hours pas­sen­gers are forced to ig­nore threats to life and limb to get to their des­ti­na­tions.

Rainy days are es­pe­cially dif­fi­cult for train trav­ellers. Pic­tured here are trav­ellers rush­ing to get into and out of trains car­ry­ing um­brel­las.

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