What’s behind the festive season chaos at Indian Railways


Raghav Mahobe

9 reads

Raghav Mahobe

9 reads

While overcrowding on Indian trains is nothing new, this year’s festive season saw unprecedented levels of chaos. Behind the bedlam is the Indian Railways’ push for more AC passenger coaches on trains.

November 17, 2023


Every year during the festive season, visuals abound of travellers scrambling to find space in crowded trains. The vast majority of this rush stems from millions of Indians, mostly labourers, making their way back home to states like Bihar and Uttar Pradesh to spend time with their families.

The journey is rarely easy—many trains are delayed by hours, some are cancelled at the last minute, and waiting lists for berths often run into the hundreds. For all of this, though, trains remain jam-packed as they remain among the most affordable options for long-distance travel.

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