As the Indian union railway budget approaches we thought it apt to compare the veins of steel that run through both China and India. Our railways networks heave the weight of both nations, transporting millions of people and tonnes of goods from shores to the inlands. They are our country’s largest employers – larger than an army and are thrusting forth to break speed barriers.
Individually different, with their own unique histories, our railways are a symbol of what India and China are in many ways today. Displaying its unique bravado, China’s vast network has scaled fast and considerably built up speed to run one of the fastest trains on earth, but it lacks safety measures. India on contrast conjures up images of a lumbering elephant ploughing through the nation, while it touches every town and village interconnecting the vast nation, the railways speed is in no comparison with its dragon smoking neighbor to the North.
Though both nations are spending substantially to scale up their railways, both financially and technologically, they both have a long way to go. China is not only ramping up capacity within its boundaries, but is also building rail networks in neighboring lands and as far away as Africa. India meanwhile has seen success in managing the mamoth task of online booking and ticketing for a billion plus population and also has plans afoot to start her own very first high speed railway from Delhi to Mumbai within the next few years.