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DVDs:Adventure and Exploration:The Great Indian Railway DVD Exclusive
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The Great Indian Railway DVD Exclusive

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A puffing steam train climbs into the Himalayas, a rolling rumble echoes over the holy waters of the Ganges, an astonishing five million commuters rush daily through the Bombay Victoria Terminus—join National Geographic as we journey on one of the world's largest railways. Since 1853, India's railway has been a unifying force. Not only did it physically link distant regions, it also connected the myriad of castes, languages, and religions that comprise India. It's a rich history, riding the sumptuous Palace on Wheels through Rajasthan or the "toy train" to Darjiling, but sadly, the age of steam is dying. At the Black Beauty contest, the beloved steam engines are admired for the last time. From the driver in the steaming locomotive to the station master in the sleepy village, from the family traveling to a wedding to the commuters in the large cities, this great institution reflects the country itself. Many are the faces, and varied are the stories, on The Great Indian Railway.

Not available for shipment outside of the U.S. and Canada.


  • © 1995
  • 1 disc; 115 minutes

DVD Exclusives

National Geographic DVD Exclusives

For the first time ever, National Geographic presents its programming in DVD-R format. Available exclusively through this site, you can now own more of our award-winning specials and documentaries in a high-quality DVD format.

How our DVDs and DVD-Rs Differ

Customers who purchase programs in the NG DVD Exclusives Library will receive a non-interactive, play only disc. There is no chaptering information on these DVDs, but there are chapter marks approximately every five minutes, which make it easy to fast forward through a program. The DVD-R format provides the digital video and audio quality you expect from all of our DVDs.

NOTE: The NG DVD Exclusives titles are not closed-captioned. We apologize for any inconvenience this limitation may cause.



by PowerReviews
The Great Indian Railway DVD Exclusive

(based on 2 reviews)

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Reviewed by 2 customers

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(5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)


Pure nostalgia - wonderful film

By Les Pins '51

from Dubai, United Arab Emirates

About Me Casual Viewer

Comments about The Great Indian Railway DVD Exclusive:

I first purchased this on VHS 16 years ago and was mesmerised by the subject, the human stories surrounding Indian Railways and National Geographic's stunning film photography.

In 1995 Indian Railways (IR) was India's biggest single employer. This film covers the management, operations and maintenance of IR's rail network through touching and very natural human angles and stories. From the sons of Maharajahs, to the widows of signalmen. From the cold of the Darjeeling Himalaya Railway to the heat and dust of Mumbai's Victoria Terminus it is a kaleidoscope of sounds, colours and even emotions. A particular delight is the Indian gentleman travelling from Delhi to Madras (now Chennai)who relishes the Indian curry meal served to him on the train en route. The confusion of his arrival at Chennai Terminus and his thwarted efforts to get a cab home show how a film benefits from the traveller's story.

The film concludes with a steamy beauty contest; the best presented steam locomotive in the IR Delhi Loco Sheds. It is made poignant by the knowledge that the steam locomotives are soon to be retired for ever making the film an important and well timed historical documentary. Pure nostalgia.

Well done National Geographic for releasing this on DVD. Thank you.

(9 of 9 customers found this review helpful)


Nostalgiac for the Passing of Steam

By Daryl

from San Francisco

About Me Casual Viewer

Verified Reviewer

Comments about The Great Indian Railway DVD Exclusive:

Filmed in 1995, this documentary is a nostalgiac look at the end of steam trains in India.

The film covers many facets of trains in India including the atmosphere of a second-class compartment, the luxury of the Palace on Wheels, the madness of a train pulling into a station as coolies jostle for an attempt to carry passengers' baggage, the role of the station masters, even a look at the legendary Toy Train of Darjeeling and a miniature train that runs on a maharaja's tabletop bearing decanters to dinner guests.

There is a strong emphasis on the emotional value of the railway system to its passengers and employees. You will be surprised by how antique and manually operated the system was in 1995.

This film is especially recommended for train buffs and those interested in travel to India. It gives a good feel of what it must be like to be there.

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