Bogie men: Meet the foot soldiers of the Indian Railways

Track maintainers or gangmen walk miles, often carrying heavy equipment, and risk their lives to keep your trains on track. These are their stories.

A track maintainer hammers the bolts on a fishplate along a track at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus in Mumbai.(Pratik Chorge/HT Photo)

A group of track maintainers conduct railway maintenance work at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST), Mumbai. Once known as gang men (since they work in gangs) before the nomenclature was termed offensive, they test and assess track health and conduct repairs and maintenance. men walk along miles of railway lines for an average of eight hours a day, sometimes more, in all-weather conditions, often carrying 20-25 kg in monitoring equipment and other tools. They must check that the ballast or track bed below the sleepers is packed correctly, repair cracks and fishplate damage, make sure nuts, bolts and welding are intact, and check on the clips that hold rails to the sleepers.


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