As India pledges some US$11.7 billion to upgrade Asia's oldest rail network, we look at this transportation system which is an endless source of frustration for locals yet leaves tourists in awe.
Serving up to 20 million commuters daily, the state-owned Indian Railways monopolized almost all the rail operations in India and is also one of the busiest rail networks in the world. Around 9,000 trains operate at any given time, but conditions are poor and trains are often in the news for all the wrong reasons ranging from tragic crashes to mowing down elephants.
With the Indian government this week pledging better catering, comfort and cleanliness as part of a US$11.7-billion budget to improve the system, locals are desperately hoping that this 160 year-old rail network will take a step forward in the right direction. In the meantime, tourists continue to delight at the sight of overcrowding trains and the bustling slices of life that goes on at the stations and beyond.
Take a tour through Asia's oldest rail network through the slideshow.
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