Walking The Line: A Night In The Life Of Trackmen
It’s a maroon, coin-shaped object resting lightly in their kit. But as they set out on their nightly patrol, Kamal and Deepak Kumar of the Indian Railway’s Cold Weather Patrolling team at Ghaziabad station know that these ten “patakhas (detonators)” devised back in 1841 by a British inventor are their biggest weapon against north India’s notorious fog.
Kamal, 35, and Deepak, 29, are just recovering from 12 days of dense fog that has disrupted road, rail and air traffic. The weather is slightly better tonight, they observe.
It’s 10.37 pm and the 14724 Kalindi Express from Bhiwani has just arrived at the station. On another platform, Hw Bdts (Haridwar-Bandra) Superfast Express is slowly chugging out, making its way to Mumbai.
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