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Itarsi Junction (standard:travel stories, 692 words)
Author: JuggernautAdded: Feb 02 2013Views/Reads: 1313/877Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
Itarsi Junction is a main raiway terminal in the center of India. Juggernaut shares his experiene of travelling through Itarsi Junction few decades ago.

Itarsi Junction 

Subba Rao 

A trip from Banaras to Hyderabad around 1000 miles took just 

over 30 hours on a train.  Juggernaut took this trip four decades ago 

when he was a graduate student briefly at Banaras Hindu University. 

The slow moving train stopped at numerous stations including Allahabad, 

the birth place of Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India, 

immediately after independence from Great Britain in 1947. 

Itarsi Junction is halfway to Hyderabad, around 500 miles from 

Banaras, one of the largest railway stations in India located in 

central part of the country.  As the train approached Itarsi, the rail 

tracks were multiplied on either side of the running train, some ran 

parallel and others curved away in different directions.  On some 

tracks crowded trains were just leaving the platform while others 

slowly approaching the train stop. Several freight trains were parked 

at a distance on the spurt for loading and unloading.  In between the 

tracks, maintenance crew was working in very close proximity to the 

running trains without fear.  From large open windows, one cans see 

signal men operating the levers arranged in series in the control room 

to change the direction of trains while others were weaving green flags 

to the trains just leaving station.  Looking from the train window 

Juggernaut was amazed at the complexity of the operations as the train 

slowly pulled into the Itarsi station. 

Decades ago, many locomotive engines were still running on coal 

and few on diesel. The steam engines puffing black smoke and letting 

out excess steam with characteristic hissing sound was an experience to 

remember lifelong. 

As the train slowed down on approaching the platform,, the 

station appointed porters in crimson uniform ran on the platform along 

the haling train to jump into the railcars to seek passengers to carry 

their baggage to parking lots. Holding on to one or two pieces of 

baggage, the porters bargain with the passengers on carrying charges, 

some porters bold enough to take hold of the baggage and move quickly 

onto the platform only to demand exorbitant fee later.  Few porters 

fight among themselves, holding a piece of passengers' baggage leaving 

the passenger in confusion. This drama occurs at every busy train 

station.  A station like Itarsi junction with multiple platforms with 

several trains arriving and departing at the same time, the place was a 

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