Most of you do not know what a Railway Trackman means. The trackman’s usual job is to maintain the condition of the tracks, which is a tedious one because of many reasons. This photo essay will inform you about the man who labours in excruciating conditions to that you have a comfortable and safe journey. For the sake of readers, the original Hindi captions have been retained.
1. A trackman spends most of his duty time alongside the tracks.
2. Trackmen are often tasked with lifting heavy girders to be laid as tracks.
3. Ramdin, a trackman for 20 years, says that he had to often attend to tracks in areas where there was no water to drink.
4. Most signals are now automatic but Prasad, a pointman, says that there are many tracks where the signals have to be operated manually.
5. Arvind is a disabled man. As you can see here in this picture, he has a prosthetic leg which makes it difficult for him to work on tracks. But despite taking up the matter with authorities his grievance is yet to be addressed.
6. The work is risky because of the passing trains. One mistake can cost hundreds of lives.
7. Machines have made work easier for the trackmen but as Bacchilal says men still have to fight heat, rains and cold.
8. Tracks are changed manually at smaller stations. Most major stations across the country have automatic track changing systems.
9. Every screw and every bolt of a track must be checked properly to ensure they are firmly in place.
10. Abdul rightly points out that in spite of the invaluable service of the trackmen, no one acknowledges them when talking of the development of Indian Railways.
Credit: BBC Hindi/Ankit Srinivas