National Geographic’s The Great Indian Railways

National Geographic’s The Great Indian Railways

Filmed in 1995, this documentary is a nostalgiac look at the end of steam trains in India.

The film covers many facets of trains in India including the atmosphere of a second-class compartment, the luxury of the Palace on Wheels, the madness of a train pulling into a station as coolies jostle for an attempt to carry passengers’ baggage, the role of the station masters, even a look at the legendary Toy Train of Darjeeling and a miniature train that runs on a maharaja’s tabletop bearing decanters to dinner guests.

There is a strong emphasis on the emotional value of the railway system to its passengers and employees. You will be surprised by how antique and manually operated the system was in 1995.

This film is especially recommended for train buffs and those interested in travel to India. It gives a good feel of what it must be like to be there.

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