Train to Phulad — Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Trains and Tracks

This is our entry in Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Trains and Tracks.

During our 2014 visit to India, we took a commuter train (built in 1928 by the British) from Sardargarh to Phulad. The train was ancient. At one point, the engineer had to stop the train and get down to manually switch tracks. The train creaked through a jungle and wound over a thousand foot cliff. It passed over 100 foot tall rickety bridges and through long tunnels. This was the most interesting train ride we have ever taken!

We took this photo at a stop at the Goram Ghat flag station where the train stopped for a few minutes. Images like this remind us of the cover of Robert Frank’s The Americans even though we were the only Americans on this train.

This photo was taken on November 13, 2014.

Danger on the Rails

This is our entry in The Daily Post Photo Challenge: Danger!

In November 2014, we rode a narrow gauge local train between Sardargarh and  Phulad, a distance of 44 kilometers (about 27 miles), in the state of Rajasthan, India. For the beginning half of the trip, we sat on bench seats next to a window and took pictures. Each train window had 4 horizontal metal bars, which were not a problem, because our camera was small enough to fit between the bars.  However, as the scenery grew more interesting, we were invited to sit on the steps for an unobstructed view – which was terrifying at times, but we did it.

The train passes through the Ravli Sanctuary, with 100-foot-high bridges, two long tunnels (where the guide and other passengers made erie sounds for the echo effect), a (now dry) waterfall, and thick jungle. The track was cut out of the side of the cliff, with steep drops on one side of the train. There is a change of 1000 feet in elevation, downward. This railroad was built in 1928 by the British.

The image below was taken forward from our seat on the steps, and other passengers can be seen sitting on steps and leaning outward for a better view. There were no seatbelts.
Narrow Guage Train
This photo was taken on November 14, 2014. Specs are:
Olympus Tough TG-3,  ISO 100, f/2.8, 1/800 sec, 4.5 mm