A Journey by Train
Let us fancy we are travelling from Dehra Dun to Amritsar. We get down to Dehra Dun station in time to catch the 1-50 p.m. train. We find seats in a carriage of the waiting train, see our luggage put in, and then settle down for the journey. The guard blows his whistle and waves his green flag, the engine slowly begins to move, and we glide out of the station.
The country of the Dun Valley through which we are passing is pretty, and so we amuse ourselves by looking out of the carriage windows. As the train winds away eastward, we can see to the left the lower Himalayan hills and even the white houses of Mussoorie, while to the right is the Siwalik range. We pass by green fields, and then through beautiful forests; and everything looks very bright and pleasant in the afternoon sunshine.
After some hours, we run through some tunnels and come to the sacred town of Hardwar where the train stops. Even from the train, we can see the clear, green waters of the Ganges, and some of the little Hindu temples on its banks. We may see a troop of pilgrims tramping along the road; for Hardwar is a holy place, and many come to bathe in the sacred river and worship in the temples. It is crowded with sacred monkeys, and many of them come to the station to meet every train, and sit on the line or jump on the carriage roofs, begging for bread and fruit.
After we leave Hardwar, we have passed through the Siwalik Hills and are journeying over the plains of Uttar Pradesh. At the little junction of Lakhsar, the train is reversed; and when we start again we seem at first to be going back on our tracks. About 8 p.m. we reach Saharanpur, and here the train waits half an hour so that we can get our dinner.
When we start again, we begin to think of going to bed; but it is no use getting to sleep before we have passed Ambala which we reach about 10 p.m. For Ambala is about the noisiest station I know. The platform is crowded with people talking, laughing, shouting and making, a dreadful din: cries of “Musalman Pio”, “Hindu Pio”, “Ghanderi”, “Doodh, gurrum, gurrum; gurrum gurrum doodh”, make sleep impossible.
At last, we get to sleep and wake up the next morning in Punjab. And about noon, we roll into the big, hot noisy station of Amritsar.