Presenting his second rail budget, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu announced that the little known Ring Railway in Delhi would be revived with the assistance of the state government and could help reduce pollution. That revival won't be an easy one; it won't be easy because most of us don't even know where it is.
Only a single train runs on the Ring Railway operating twice a day, but not as per the timetable set by the Railways. It comes and goes as it pleases -- running on time that is entirely its own.
"The time of departure changes daily, and most of the days it always runs behind schedule. I get late to get to office on every other day," said Jagadish who works for a private firm in Kirti Nagar and boards the train from Hazrat Nizamuddin.
The national capital has a railway line that runs parallel to the city's ring road and covers the southern, western and nothern parts of the city. But not many in the city are aware of Delhi Ring Railway System that has been dying a slow death, even as the Delhi Metro continues to cover more areas of the city.
"Till recently four trains were running in the network and the system was well in place. The trains were always jam packed.with mostly government servants. But, after the Shakur Basti incident (demolitions) earlier this month, which led to the discontinuation of three services, everything has gone haywire." a middle-aged Raj Kamal Sharma said.
The train is mostly empty. The stations have a ghostly look about them even in rush hour. But there's a reason the railway line continues to attract the few passengers it does and prime among them is the cost of the tickets.
"Daily travelling through Delhi Metro or using buses won't be viable for a person like me with low income. But reaching late to office is also a big problem. I still have no clue what to with the situation", said a young Amit Kumar who just got a job in a commercial cable company.
So what is the Delhi Ring Railway?
The line was created in 1975 for the easy movements of goods trains in the city. But during the 1982 Asian Games, the 35-km-long system was upgraded, with the addition of 24 trains.
During the 1980s and 1990s, the line was very popular among government servants as it crosses through areas like Lodhi Colony which has several government offices and quarters nearby.
So why did it lose passengers?
A major factor that always worked against the line was the relative inaccessibility of the railway stations. Most stations are located in places that have no real connectivity with other means of public transport. In comparison, the Delhi Metro runs through the heart of the city and offers better connectivity.
But despite lower fares, a perceived lack of safety and no upgrades to the existing line has meant passengers slowly migrated to alternatives modes of transport. As the passengers reduced, so did the services. From 24 a day, the number of services reduced to 8 and then to 4.
In February 2016, all the services were withdrawn. And now there's just one train plying on the line.
But despite the Railway Minister's announcement, commuters are sceptical of what to expect. Many feel that as there only a handful of people who regularly use the network, reviving it won't be of much importance to the government.
(With inputs from agencies)
Cinematography by Sumit Tharan