Abhishek likes trains, so during one of our recent bus-train rides, we decided to go to Mumbai Central station and watch the Rajdhani Express arrive from Delhi. It came in right on schedule at 8:35 am, after a 16-hour journey from Delhi, at an average speed of 86 kms/hour. Abhishek was thrilled – and so was I. Something about trains, especially the long-distance ones, delights the heart!
The next day, we decided to watch the train leave the station. We arrived at 4:30 pm for the scheduled 4:40 pm departure. We walked the length of the train to the engine. There, one of the engine drivers invited Abhishek in and showed him some of the controls. It was an amazing experience for Abhishek. What struck me was the friendliness of the railway staff. Seeing Abhishek’s interest, one of the other engine drivers (who was not on the Rajdhani) showed Abhishek more details in a stationary engine across the platform, and even switched in on and showed what happens inside.
For Abhishek (and me), it was an experience to savour. It was the first time I had been in an engine, and reminded me of the time around 14 years ago, when I had sat in a Cathay Pacific cockpit when it was about to land in Hong Kong.