Bhimbetka is known for the extensive expanse of rock shelters. For me, Bhimbetka also means trains passing by every ten minutes on the rail tracks at the railway crossing gate there.
The primordial man lived here in these rock shelters from more than 50,000 B.C. to about 5000 B.C. The rock art created by these primordial settlements is known all over the world. Bhimbetka is now a UNESCO world heritage site.
Trains passing through Bhimbetka
Bhimbetka is situated close to Bhopal. Bhopal is a large railway junction. While Bhimbetka does not have a railway station, the railway tracks cross the road going from the main road to the rock shelters, which are on the hills.
This railway line is one of the busiest railways lines in the country. This was mentioned by the Indian railway employee who was in charge of manning the railway crossing gate.
I have been to Bhimbetka twice so far. During each visit, spent several hours at the railway crossing gate watching all kinds of trains passing by and chatting up with the railwayman in charge of the crossing gate.
This fellow can hardly rest, as this route is very busy with a train passing by almost every 10 minutes. This fellow has to perform a series of tasks each time it is about to pass. When a train leaves the nearest railway station, this fellow gets a call and is informed that it has left from that station. He then proceeds to operate the electric motor which closes the railway crossing gate. While the train is passing by the railway crossing gate, he is expected to stand on a pedestal near the gate with a flag and waive the flag. He is also expected to do a quick visual inspection for any obvious problems with the wheels or carriage as they roll over the rail tracks.
After the train passes by, he comes back to his cabin and operates the motor to open the gate. This cycle is repeated after every 10 minutes or so.
In addition to doing these tasks every time a train passes by, he is also required to document each and every train that passed by with details of the number and the time it passed by.
I was impressed with the thoroughness of the process. There is hardly any scope of being lazy and taking shortcuts.
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