27 Down: New Departures in Indian Railway Studies
Ian J. Kerr (Ed.)
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Hitherto, the study of India’s railways has run along a few, increasingly well-travelled tracks. The central goal of 27 Down with its nine, new, railway-related studies—and much else thanks to its enclosed CD-ROM—is to explore some of the neglected dimensions of India’s colonial and postcolonial railways. The contributors, a stimulating mix of younger and older scholars, explore vastly different aspects of India’s railways, past and present. Railways and the nineteenth century capitalist development of South Asia, porters at a twenty-first-century Mumbai station, late nineteenth-century Hindi accounts of train travel, post-1947 films and writings that represent railways during the Partition of India, railway art on Bangladeshi rikshas, railway workshop labour, financing and managing the railways of North India, an exploration of why India’s railways did not contribute more positively to colonial India’s economic development, plus much more are found in the text and on the CD-ROM. Thus, social, political, cultural and economic dimensions of India’s railways are among the new departures in Indian railway studies found within this volume. 27 Down is a train with multiple destinations. Each exploratory trip is different but the contributors share an interest in the method of travel, India’s fascinating railways.

Ian J. Kerr is a Research Associate of the Department of History, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London and a Senior Scholar, History, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada. He has written or edited many books or articles examining aspects of India’s railway and labour history.
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