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Riding The Train In This Small Bangladeshi Community Is A Life-Risking Activity

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We all hate a crowded commute during our travels to and from work, especially in the morning. Everyone wants things to run quietly and smoothly as they begin the day, and when mornings get off to a frantic start, it can set a negative tone.

Morning and afternoon, commuters that are traveling out of Dhaka, Bangladesh know better than to expect a mellow ride to work. The overcrowded capital city makes use of their public transportation systems in, perhaps, the most hectic way imaginable.

Take a look at these photos from one of the train stations in Dhaka, and try to imagine your commute being this intense.

Every morning and afternoon, anyone who needs to travel to and from work hopes their commute is smooth. No one ever wants to be crammed into a subway car like it’s a can of sardines; that makes for a horrible morning experience.

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But, residents of Dhaka, the capital city of Bangladesh, know a thing or two about crowded train rides to work. They’re used to having almost no room but still finding a way on board.

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To an American, it might look like pandemonium. The city is so overcrowded there is simply not enough transportation for everyone to ride comfortably. This leads to people climbing onto the roof and hanging on the sides!

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Every single ride is a hazardous one to those not in the train cars. But, because there is no other way for the locals to get to the city — this is their only option.

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Many of the people of Dhaka are poor, and they rely on this train, no matter how unsafe it may be, to get to work each day. They would rather risk their safety than miss a day and possibly not be able to afford dinner for themselves or their family that evening.

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You’d think with all this weight that the train wouldn’t be able to move very fast, but, in fact, it travels at speeds of up to 30 mph. That may not sound like a lot, but it’s enough to kill any person who might fall off.

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Family members of all sizes and ages climb aboard. If you think that it’d be extremely dangerous to have small children riding, you’d be right, but, these people have no choice.

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Elderly riders, too, need assistance climbing up to whatever free space they can find. You’d hope that children and elderly folk would have the luxury of sitting inside where it’s safe, but with a population this large, it’s impossible.

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The safety regulations in Bangladesh are almost non-existent, and therefore this type of crowding is allowed. There would be no way anything like this would be allowed in a place that had a stringent policy.

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Even if you’re lucky enough to find a place inside the cars, they are bound to fill up just as fast as the roof or the sides, so although you don’t run the risk of toppling off the train, you’ll still be squished.

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As unstable as it may look, riders make sure to help each other find the appropriate room as best they can to avoid accidents. This might mean having to stand or help other riders climb aboard the top of the caboose.

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If passengers aren’t able to get aboard the first train they see, they will have to find room on the next one. Unfortunately, the crowds don’t dissipate as more trains pass. They are all equally congested.

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Seeing this scene makes you wonder what it’s like on other modes of transportation throughout Bangladesh. One thing is for sure, this is definitely the most crowded and uncomfortable way to travel. For these people, it also happens to be the most convenient.

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Imagine having to wake up every day and take this train? It sounds horrible, but millions of people do it each year in Bangladesh. If you are lucky enough to find a seat, just hold on tight, and prepare to do the whole thing again after work.

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After seeing these shocking pictures, you’ll never complain about your morning commute again!

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