The railways brought modernity to India. Its vast network connected the far corners of the subcontinent, making travel, communication and commerce simpler than ever before. Even more importantly, the railways played a large part in the making of the nation: by connecting historically and geographically disparate regions and people, it forever changed the way Indians lived and thought, and eventually made a national identity possible.
This engagingly written, anecdotally told history captures the immense power of a business behemoth as well as the romance of train travel; tracing the growth of the railways from the 1830s (when the first plans were made) to Independence, Bibek Debroy and his co-authors recount how the railway network was built in India and how it grew to become a lifeline that still weaves the nation together.
This latest volume in The Story of Indian Business series will delight anyone interested in finding out more about the Indian Railways.