A Train Bogie with Headless Bodies - A True Life Story

The Train

It was a hot and Sunny afternoon. I and my friend were returning back from a nearby place just an hour by train. It was some time in 1983. My father was in the Army and he was posted at Ambala Cantonment for a few years and I was still doing my graduation those days. So was my friend's father who was also in the Army there. The two of us used to travel a lot by local train just to see some new places every weekend.

I normally used to take a train back home when ever I go out of Ambala Cantonment. Trains were safer those days due to civil unrest in the state of Punjab in India. At least that was what I used to think those days, till this event happened which I have never been able to forget to this day, even after almost four decades. We were at the station just in time for the train. I stood in the queue at the ticket counter of the railway station and bought two train tickets. The train tickets were dirt cheap those days and I have hardly seen any ticket examiner in the train. Especially, in the general unreserved bogie, no ticket examiner ever comes in. The only place a ticket examiner waits to catch ticketless passengers. We were slightly late, so we had to run towards the train, which had already started moving.

Travelling in Front Bogies of Train

Normally, all Indian trains run very late from their scheduled time. But since we reached late that day, this train had started departingon time. I have experienced this before also. Whenever I reach the station on time, my train will always and every time arrive late by an hour or more, even though all other trains are coming and going on time. But the day I reach a bit late, my train would have arrived and gone away bang on time. Then I have to wait a long time for the next one to arrive. Whenever I take a short distance train, I travel in the front unreserved general bogie. There is one unreserved bogie in the front of the train and one unreserved bogie in the rear end of almost all indian trains.

The reason I travel in the front bogie to Ambala is because, when the train stops at Ambala Cantonment raiway station where I stay, the front bogie is closer to the exit gate of the railway station. Otherwise a lot of time gets wasted walking past all the 22 bogies of the train from the rear end of the train to exit gate of the railway station. This time, we had no way of reaching the front bogie because the train had already started moving when I was paying for the ticket at the counter. So we ran along the train which was almost out of the platform and got into last unreserved bogie of the train in the rear end of the train. We were happy to have made it into the train even through I almost slipped whist getting into the moving train.

Headless Bodies in Front Bogie of My Train - A True Life Story

We sat and talked during the one hour journey to Ambala raiwlay station. The main point of discussion was how we missed getting into the front unreserved bogie of the train and how we should avoid this situation by coming early to the station next time. The train reached Ambala cantonment station on time and we got down at the railway platform. The train looked so long, that the engine was not visible from the rear end of the train. As we walked towards the exit of the railway station, we saw a crowd gathered near the front of the train. Something was wrong. Else why should there be a big crowd and policemen around. We ran towards the crowd. But some policemen stopped us from going there. The area was cordoned off by the police, one of whom looked concerned for our safety and told us to immediately vacate the railway station.

As we gave our tickets to the railway ticket examiner  standing at the exit gate of the railway station and walked out. As we went through the exit, I heard some people talk about what had happened. I suddenly felt my legs go numb and too heavy to lift from the ground as I heard those passengers talk. Was it God's kindness that we reached late to the railway station, so that we do not board the doomed front unreserved bogie, which is what I and my friend has always been travelling in for the past two years without fail?

What I heard people at the railway station exit talk was, "The unreserved bogie at the fron of the train next to the engine, had only headless bodies inside. The heads of the passengers were found missing. No one knows who did it, because no one was left alive in that bogie to tell the tale". We didn't see those dead headless bodies thanks to the police. And it was God's Grace that I and my friend were not lying dead and headless, amongst those unfortunate passengers in the front unreserved bogie of that doomed train to Ambala. From that day I stopped travelling in unreserved bogie of the Indian Railway Trains.

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