The permanently-closed ticketing counter at the Behrang Train Station is plastered with newspaper cuttings. A collection of morbid news on fatal accidents and suicides involving people on the railway track. It is to serve as a warning, perhaps. For there is open access to the platform and track.
The silence and emptiness is strangely attractive. It was as though me and my new friend, the invigorated cat, own the station. We wandered on the platform, looked at the tracks up-close, sat on a steel bench and waited for the train that never came.
I found out later from local residents that in spite the solitude, the station is functioning. One can still hop on a train from here, I was told. Provided someone on board is getting down, the train will stop.
The info left me with more questions. How does one disembark at the destination when boarding without a ticket? How would they know which station you board from?
How does a passenger from inside stop the speeding train in order to get down. Is there a bell button to push like buses of old days? From the platform, can I flag it to stop?
This is a nice and well-equipped modern train station, mind you. It is sad and surprising to see it so under-utilised. To the town’s credit, it isn’t vandalised at all. It also makes sense to not waste money on staff when there are hardly any passenger.
I don’t know. When it comes to train stations in small towns, the old adage of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it or re-locate it” applies, sometimes.
Maybe this is the reason it was chosen as the location to scrap the phased-out trains. No one comes here. I am glad I did.
Sony Alpha a7R, ISO 400, f13, 1/60 sec.