My Dear 9’ers of Bombay

Yes you had a charm about you. Go on, call me an idiot. But to look at the indicator and figure out whether its a 9 coach or a 12 coach local gave me a minor thrill every time I did it. Especially if it was a 9’er means that you had to go running to catch the last ladies second class coach. That was fun eh?

Guess, you have a legacy of your own. You were the ones who started it all. You were the ones who gave the local trains their identity. You were the ones who bore the brunt of the entire crowd on yourselves. and of course you are the ones who gave way to the 12’ers.

People will look at you with nostaglia. I wish I had known this yesterday. I would have definitely caught one of you to go home and just fulfilled my desire of being on the last 9’er of Bombay.

You guys have been in service since 1961. Thats about 51 years. Phew! long long long time na for coaches. But you have never let us know that. You always came to the station with the same smiling face, same extra one bit same and same large heart to accomodate as many as ever eh?

Β Every Mumbaikar at one point or the other, has been aboard on you, enjoying the breeze coming in from your old fashioned windows and during the rare empty times, enjoyed those handΒ  bars swinging like the hip of a swaying dancer.

I guess, you will miss most importantly the fact that you were always able to accomodate two more people. It was as if it was magic. As if you could change shapes to accomodate that extra crowd meaning 2 people more get into an earlier train to reach home early.

As if you were made of some sort of a flexible rubber that provided a bit more space. I think, its got to do with your large heart eh? You were ready to sacrifice that paint of yours, and accepts chips on your body just to let some people more get in to reach home early.

You have been through a lot and I think if any of you could write a memoir that would be so wonderful. Taking millions of different sort of people who can give you millions of different stories. Withstanding deluges, riots, bomb blasts, euphoric moments, everything and you have been an integral part of you. You have seen Bombay grow from a nice old town to a bursting metropolis. You have seen Western Bombay extend from Andheri and beyond to Virar and beyond. YouΒ  have seen Bombay at its worst and Bombay at its best. You have definitely seen it all na.

You have been wonderful 9’ers and I just want to tell you that I love you all.

Always a fan



PS – This article of Indian Express led me to write this one.

It says

Nine-car local trains will cease to be in operation in the suburban section of Western Railway (WR) from Wednesday and half-a-century run. The first nine-car service ran on WR on March 2, 1961. They were being replaced with 12- and 15-car services and the last of the lot, 26, are getting replaced by 12-car services on Wednesday.

Amen to the wonderful 9’ers.


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20 Responses to My Dear 9’ers of Bombay

  1. Jas says:

    Never knew about 9ers and 12 ers so it was something new for me..

  2. uma says:

    :-)))) wishing the nau car local a happy retirement from an ex-Mumbaikar πŸ™‚

  3. Awwww! Such a sweet post this is!
    I am sure it would have been such a nostalgic moment to ride on the 9-cars for one last time.
    I don’t know what a 9-car is – have never seen one. Please to pardon my ignorance. This is the first time I am hearing of one.

    • R's Mom says:

      Its a 9 car local rey…matlab woh local train mein there are 9 usually they put it on the indicator saying whether the local will be 9 coaches or 12 coaches..depending on that the ladies coach ka location will that all stations have been made longer, all of them can accomodate 12 coach locals πŸ™‚

      Its a very very Bombay thing..and you havent been here..

  4. Sujatha says:

    so many memories with the 9’ers !! I too had similar feelings when meter-gauge subarban trains were replaced with broad-gauge trains in chennai

  5. Sreetama says:

    So sweet RM! Only you could write such a heart melting post on Mumbai locals! πŸ™‚

  6. Sapna says:

    Ah! 9’ers They will be missed!

  7. Smita says:

    When I saw the title i thought this was for ppl who leave at 9 for their jobs hehehehe…

    Must say it is only you who can write a dedication for car carriages and write it well!!! I had never thought about these dabba’s this way!!! *applauds*

  8. I have no clue what this is ..

  9. sjscribbles says:

    Awww so sweet a post RM ! I learnt something new !

  10. carvaka says:

    I’ve just read through a bunch of your posts and I totally love your blog and your little R. I have ran after a fair few 9’ers myself, growing up in Mumbai. It is nostalgic but I can’t say I miss it.. boarding a rush hour train from Andheri was torture! I have some fun memories of hearing aunties fight though. πŸ˜‰

    Your little R sounds like Mumbai. I didn’t even know I missed these sounds but it feels so good to hear Mumbai in a blog! πŸ™‚

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