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True Story - The Army Train Stops To Milk Cows


After staying in that reasonable town railway station for two days and enjoying the outings, people on the army train was almost bored. As I sat in our army train bogie having dinner I heard the families in the nearby seats talking that there was no more fun in going out at this town. They were praying that the railways are kind enough to get a pair of engines the next morning.

Secondly, the meals were also beginning to be bland and tasting same over the past almost one week since we had boarded the train from the small railway station Raiwala from where this great escape true story had started. Initial enthusiasm in the army men and their families were now weaning. They were all bored being onboard restricted to a few berths in a train, eating meals tasting the same as yesterday and day before.

Everyone was missing the freedom they had at home. As a boy, I was having trouble because my father was sitting or sleeping next to me throughout the day and night. I was restricted in movement and even talking. Freedom was lost and boredom was creeping into the lives of everyone on that army train.

The God seemed to have heard the prayers at night because when we woke up at 5:30 am when my father was about to go for the army morning physical exercise, there were two engines going past our train on the next track. After some time there was jolt felt on the train. That was indication enough for everyone to rejoice as we were all very sure that the army train has been given a pair of diesel engines.

A little later my dad came back in a hurry and then went off with utencils to collect tea and breakfast unusually early in the morning at 6:00 am. The reason was that the railways have given the army train two engines under the condition that the engines will be withdrawn if the army train does not move from that railway station in  under one hour.

Half an hour later, the army train started moving and everyone on board was happily having breakfast while watching the railway station move away from the windows. Some people went back to sleep because there was nothing more to do that day. The next stop will be only for tea after about four hours. It was a big relief for all of us to leave that railway station as the train once again entered the jungles.

The Army Train Stopped To Milk Cows - A True Story

After about fortyfive minutes of traveling, we crossed a small railway station. As I looked out of the Window, I could not see the railway station platform as there was long goods train stopped in that station. To my knowledge passenger trains are stopped to let goods train go. But this time the goods train was stopped to let the army train go past the railway station. The railway staff was probably fed up of all the army antics.

As I continued looking out of the window of my train bogie, I realised that the goods train had dozens of milk cows in each of the goods bogies. And there were two people sitting in each goods bogie to care for the milk cows. That was unusual. I had never seen anything like this before. Milk cows inside a train?

The army train went past the railway station at high speeds for another five minutes and then there was a screeching sound as the army train applied brakes and the wheels slipped on the rails. The train stopped quickly. After another minute or so, the train started going in the opposite direction till the railway station with the milk cow goods train came back to my view.

Something was not right. Everyone started saying that the train has been called back to remove the two train engines as usual. What they were all talking of the engines being detacthed was going to be part of this true story.

The Army Ladies Stopped The Train For Cow Milk - A True Story

I later found out what had happened. As the train went through the station, like me, the wife of the Commanding Officer of the army unit also happened to see the goods train full of milk cows and she instantly got a feminine idea. Why drink tinned milk or use milk powder when one can get tons of fresh cow milk?

The lady told her powerful husband the Commanding Officer of the army unit traveling on the train to stop the train and reverse the train back to that station just passed. The Commanding Officer had no choice but to obey the lady more powerful than him. So on the sound powered telephone he rang up his Adjutant sitting with the guard in the rear end of the train who in turn told the guard. The guard signalled the engine drivers to stop the train and reverse it back to the station to milk the cows.

The entire people on the train disembarked and lined up in front of the goods bogie next to their own train bogies. The care takers of the milk cows, milked the cows as it was early morning. Everyone was used to lining up for getting milk or tea in front of the pantry car in this entire true story. But today, everyone was making a bee line in front of the cow train bogies.

After getting milk from the milk cow train, everyone was now lined up once again at the pantry car bogie, to get the milk boiled. The total time taken to finish boiling the cow milk in each small utelcils took about four hours. That also included the excess milk which the pantry car collected from the cow train. This fresh milk was boiled and thickened to be used later. Some part was used to seed into yogurt.

As we were enjoying the fresh milk, the railways knew was going to take many hours and decided to detach and send the two army train engines to pull some other scheduled trains. The army train was without engines thanks to the milk cow train and stood there on that small railway station till the evening. All the discussions to get the engines back by the army bosses failed.

The army train had travelled only about 45 minutes that day. That night was spent in this small railway station just 45 minutes away from the previous railway station where we had spent two full days awaiting train engines. This railway station was in a small village and no one wanted to go out into the village. The army organised some party games and the night was spent well at the railway station.

The engines were back only after about 36 hours, by the evening of the next day. But no one seemed to be bothered or perturbed. The Army unit went on with its daily life as if they were in their base unit.

The stopping of the train by the army for conducting their routine and duties of the day, the non availability of two engines together to pull the long army train, the adamant army not letting the train to be split into two for faster movement, the desires of the top brass ladies, the tea time, meals time, exercise time etc caused unusual delays of the army movement and frustration to the Railways. But the army lived a normal daily life on the trains and in the railway stations they got stuck.

But this true story was far from getting over. There was more in store for the entire army unit traveling on that train. This time the train started moving only to stop at its final destination railway station. But no one knew that this army train would be stopped three kilometers short of the railway station and everyone onboard would be made to vacate the train with all their luggages by the railways.

The true story was about to end with a bang, in way which the people in that army train had not imagined. This was the biggest surprise which no one was going to forget in their entire life. But for now they all sat in the moving train not sure if they will be stopped in any other small railway station like the past ten days.

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