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from India Insight:

Railway Budget 2014: Reactions from the common man

In his maiden budget, Railways Minister Sadananda Gowda said the bulk of India's future railway projects will be financed through public-private partnerships and that his ministry would seek cabinet approval for allowing foreign direct investment in the state-owned network. (Click here for Rail Budget highlights)

India Insight spoke to people at the New Delhi railway station for their thoughts on the railway budget:

GOPINATH AGARWAL, 72, from Kanpur

"The idea of bullet trains is a nice thing. I have seen a lot of governments over the years, and I think Narendra Modi’s government will be the best, but we need to be patient with him. I think Modi will be able to introduce bullet trains during his tenure. And it is good that they want to increase infrastructure at railway stations."

ARSHAD, 32, owns handicraft business

“The government should first focus on improving basic infrastructure before thinking about bullet trains. There is so much rush at train stations. We need more escalators, more fans and benches to sit on. Basic infrastructure should get priority.”

from Photographers' Blog:

Riding the Moscow metro

Moscow, Russia

By Lucy Nicholson

London has the world’s oldest underground rail system; Tokyo’s metro has employees to push people into packed trains; New York’s subway is an ethnic melting pot. Hidden beneath the streets of Moscow is something completely different. To step onto the Moscow metro is to step back in time and immerse yourself in a museum rich in architecture and history.

Opened in 1935, it is an extravagant gallery of Communist design, full of Soviet artworks, Art Deco styling, statues, chandeliers, marble columns and ceiling mosaics.

from Photographers' Blog:

Kiev’s workout paradise

Kiev, Ukraine

By Gleb Garanich

Let me introduce you to the famous open-air “Sweat Gym” composed of around 200 work-out machines assembled from scrap iron to train all muscles. It is laid out on an island in the Dnieper river off Kiev.

I am not a sports fan, only learning about this place by accident. I thought it could make an interesting story and so I went to take pictures of the “Sweat Gym”. I was so struck by the uncanny scene that unfolded in front of me, that for the first half an hour I slowly roamed and looked around as if examining rare exhibits in a museum. Unknown gear, machines, intricate contraptions, old chains, wheels and tires, parts of caterpillar tracks and simple chunks of rusty metal – with humans swarming amid it all.

from Photographers' Blog:

Stopover in Mexico: The train to dreams

By Edgard Garrido

What really happens when a man, or a woman, or even a child, abandons their home motivated by the idea of a better life? How do they imagine it? What do they wish for, what are they missing?

There is violence, overcrowded neighborhoods and gigantic infrastructure on the outskirts of Mexico City but there are also hundreds of thousands of people who walk day and night; different people every day and every night for weeks and months next to the train tracks, trying to jump on a train car filled with merchandise as the train passes. Fear is engraved in their faces and makes their feet heavy. Solitude, hunger, the cold and above all a painful uncertainty, are carried with them. They left behind their homes in a land without miracles and few joys, like the last of the deserts.

from Oddly Enough Blog:

This train is bound for glory, this train

Whoa! Did you see that, Clancy? Looked like Pope Benedict on that train that just went by!

Nah, it couldn't have been, Lamar.That's an express and the Pope takes the local.

from George Chen:

A turning point for China?

By George Chen
The opinions expressed are the author’s own.

Is the train crash tragedy becoming a turning point for China's political and economic development?

Frustrations among the Chinese public have been growing rapidly -- at least on the internet if not yet in the streets. People are particularly unhappy with the way the Ministry of Railways has dealt with the train accident, which so far has cost 39 lives.

from George Chen:

Not just an accident

By George Chen
The opinions expressed are the author’s own.

We’ve talked about whether China's economy will have a soft or hard landing. In fact, what China needs is a pause. Lots of things in China may be moving way too fast. Including our trains.

On Saturday, at least 35 people died when a high-speed train smashed into a stalled train in eastern Zhejiang province, raising new questions about the safety of the fast-growing rail network. For a Reuters story, click here.

from Oddly Enough Blog:

A loco motive for doing this?

Hey Doctor, it's me! Earl! I'm calling from out here on the railway line where you sent me. Are you positive this will make me better?

Yes Earl, we're on the right track.

You say the electrical energy from the rails will cure me, but how do I get it from the train into me?

from Your View:

The exodus for Eid Al-Adha

People ride on a train roof to leave the city to celebrate Eid Al-Adha with their friends and families, near Dhaka, Bangladesh, November 2010. Your View/Saad Shahriar

from Your View:

The exodus for Eid Al-Adha

People ride on a train roof to leave the city to celebrate Eid Al-Adha with their friends and families, near Dhaka, Bangladesh, November 2010. Your View/Saad Shahriar

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