Train Wreck in India

Author: Timothy Tin
Translator: Mandy Kwan

On the evening of June 2nd, three trains derailed in India, causing almost 288 deaths and more than 1,000 injuries. According to a BBC report, this was the most devastating train collision in this century.

India has the world’s largest railway network, with a total distance of over 100,000 kilometers or 62,000 miles, which measures over 1.5 times of the earth’s circumference. Over 25 million daily riders utilize this massive rail network. Since this was built in the 18th century while colonial India was under British rule, much of its infrastructure requires frequent maintenance and updates to prevent serious incidents. However, a derailment in 1995 caused a death toll of 350; fast forward to 2010 in West Bengal: a passenger train derailed and collided with a freight train, causing 150 deaths. Prior to 2017, over 100 passengers were killed in rail related accidents. According to the June 4th edition of the New York Times, between 2021 and 2022, there were 34 incidents including collisions, derailment, fire, explosions, collisions with other vehicles, or collisions with other trains in intersections. This was an increase of 27 incidents compared to the prior year’s records.

Though derailments are common in India, the government is making tremendous efforts to improve the aging and massive railway network. Since Modi became President, over one hundred million dollars had been spent to upgrade the rail infrastructure, leading to a world record of zero deaths in 2022. Moreover, parties responsible for derailment would be heavily charged. So what was the cause of these accidents? The initial finding was: malfunction of signal lights. According to Vivek Sahai, a transportation and management expert, derailments are such headaches. According to a 2019-2020 report, derailments make up 70% of all rail related accidents.

As we witnessed the devastation of the derailment on the 2000 passengers, let’s think about our lives as a high speed train on rails. As long as we remain on the “railway of truth” without swaying and avoiding wrong signals, we should arrive at the desired station. We lay our foundation at a young age to stay on track by learning knowledge and skills and putting morality and conscience into practice. Yet life is not as smooth as we think: Evils can damage the tracks of life and the devils might give deceptive signals to cause our “derailments and deaths” because “we all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all” (Isaiah 53:6). When we were led astray off the tracks, God sent Jesus His only Son to die for us on the cross. Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).

Do you feel like flowing aimlessly in the ocean with no end in sight? You could pray to God and ask Him to help you:

“Dear Heavenly Father, I thank you for letting me see the devastation of derailment and being astray from truth. Help me receive God’s gift of salvation. Because of Jesus’ sacrifice, I can now walk the path of righteousness and eternity. In His name I pray, Amen.”

Author: Rev. (Dr.) Timothy Tin is the lead pastor of the Christian Alliance Bible Church in L.A.. Rev. Tin serves as Board of Director in the International Fellowship of Christian Short Term Missions and Presence Quotient. Rev. Tin is currently teaching in USA Christian Mission Seminary. He holds practitioner’s licenses of acupuncture in Southern CA and NACCAOM in US. Rev. Tin received his Master’s degree in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine from Alhambra Medical University, Master of Longevity Martial arts and Doctoral degree in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine from University of East West Medicine. Rev. Tin is a frequent speaker in many churches and nonprofits organizations.

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