At the height of the Mumbai rush hour getting on to a train is like trying to find somewhere to sit in a rugby scrum. Mumbai is India’s most populated city and with 7.5 million riders a day its trains are the most overloaded in the world, as even the Ministry of Railways acknowledges.
Rail traffic has increased sixfold in the past 40 years, but capacity has only doubled. Meanwhile the city’s population, estimated at 20 million, has soared. It is twice as dense as New York. It is so difficult to build new railway lines in such a densely occupied space that one of the few ways of increasing capacity is to add carriages and run trains faster.
For Mumbaikars trains are an essential means of transport. During the rush hour the only alternative would be to take a car, travelling at under 8km/ph on barely serviceable roads, particularly during the monsoon. The jammed traffic moves so slowly that enterprising spirits broadcast adverts from loudspeakers mounted on three-wheelers. It would be quicker to walk but the distances are too great, the urban area stretches 120km from north to south.
Read the full report here, The Guardian