Rabindranath has said in one of his later poems that the railway icon show that this our world is the handiwork of a painter, not that of a blacksmith or artisan. A railway station is one of the features of modern civilisation. Here passengers as well as goods and luggages are booked. Every railway station is provided with a time-chart for the arrival and departure of trains. It has its staff or officers including the station-master. The porters help passengers with their luggages. The railway station occupies an important place in the economy of the modern India. Without these, life in a modern society is almost unthinkable.
Railway stations differ in size and importance. A junction has several platforms, with over-bridges. The bigger stations have waiting rooms for all classes or passengers; restaurants, loudspeaker system to announce arrival of trains and platforms to touch. Usually the atmosphere is quiet and even sleepy when trains are off. But with the arrival of a train the station suddenly bursts into life. The ticket-checkers, the guard, move about in doing their functions. And then the train leaves, and the station once more is quiet. A railway station exercises a strange fascination on all of us. Children gaze with wide-eyed wonder as a railway engine puffs its way into the station as did Apu and Durga in 'Pather Panchali'. Grown-up people, particularly in the country-side, gather on the platform to greet the incoming or see off out-going passengers. I love to visit a railway station to have a sight of the multitude of men and women that crowd the platform; some alighting from the train; others get into it for a journey. What a busy scene it is; and what a rich variety is offered to our sight.
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