17 May 2007
The obvious answer
Brian Micklethwait

As Amit Varma says, you’ve got to love a headline that goes “Train passengers asked to get out and push”:

Hundreds of Indian rail passengers got more than they had bargained for when the driver of their train asked them to get out and push.

It took more than half an hour to move the stalled electric train 12 feet so that it touched live overhead wires and was able to resume its journey, officials said on Wednesday.

The incident occurred in the eastern state of Bihar on Tuesday after a passenger pulled the train’s emergency chain and it halted in a “neutral zone,” a short length of track where there is no power in the overhead wires.

Which is all perfectly logical.  This could happen to any train operator.  They did exactly the right thing in asking the passengers to assist.

Here in England, if anything similar occurred, the passengers would have been delayed for far longer.  That’s because India is now a self-help we-can-do-it society, while England is now a what-are-they-going-to-do-about-it? safety-worshipping society.

  1. Was there any member of senior management who declared “My doctor has forbidden me to push”?

    I wonder if anyone will get that reference?

    Posted by Tim Hall on  17 May 2007 at 09:03 pm

  2. Alas no. Do tell.

    Posted by Patrick Crozier on  17 May 2007 at 09:11 pm

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