Gavin Gough
Editorial, Humanitarian & Travel Photographer
Prayer

Railways

Self-Assignment, Travel

"Trains contain the essential paraphernalia of a culture" - Paul Theroux, The Great Railway Bazaar

Colour-Coordinated, Mumbai, India

Colour-Coordinated, Mumbai, India

I would rather travel by train than by any other form of transport.

Railway journeys are relatively straightforward, requiring none of the time-consuming security checks and immigration queues we must suffer to travel by air.

Train journeys are reassuringly predictable. Point A to Point B, described with to-the-minute accuracy by timetables which often look like a code-breaker's crib sheet.

For a photographer, railway stations often supply photogenic light in slowly changing patterns and the typical railway passenger is, in my experience, more relaxed than those who travel by air.

Perhaps it is because, when we travel any significant distance by train, we know that our journey will offer an opportunity to relax, to read, to nap, to eat, to chat or simply to gaze out of the window, watching the landscape change whilst the hypnotic rhythm of the wheels upon the track lull us into a state of meditative daydreaming.

I've always enjoyed photographing aspects of train travel. Especially in Asia, where rail travel remains the most popular form of transport and where unsealed carriage windows can be pulled down to invite a cooling breeze and where passengers often view a travelling photographer as an amusing diversion.

Given the choice, I'd always rather travel by train.

Two Passengers

Two Passengers

Waiting for their train to depart from Mumbai's central railway terminus in India.

Heading south

Heading south

Train carriage doors and windows provide frames, through which we catch speeding glimpses of passengers during a brief moment of their journey.

A book for the journey

A book for the journey

A young woman, framed in a railway carriage window, reads a book before her train departs.

Buying slices of mango

Buying slices of mango

A woman on the platform selling snacks to passengers on a train before departure, Central Railway Station, Yangon, Myanmar

Monsoon

Monsoon

A man leaps into a train as the monsoon rain splashes onto the railway platform.

Monsoon II

Monsoon II

A woman covers her head as she crosses the railway tracks during a monsoon rain storm.

Buddhist monk awaiting departure

Buddhist monk awaiting departure

A Buddhist monk waiting for the train to leave the station, Central Railway Station, Yangon, Myanmar

Brother & Sister

Brother & Sister

A young brother and sister lean through an open carriage window. The girl's face has had a decorative circle of thanaka paste applied.

Women only

Women only

For increased safety and protection, most trains leaving Mumbia's railway station now offer a Women-Only carriage.

Female passenger in Women Only carriage

Female passenger in Women Only carriage

A female passenger looks out of a Women-Only carriage as her train arrives in Mumbai's Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus.

Female commuters

Female commuters

Passengers inside a Women-Only carriage on a train arriving at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus in Mumbai

Bracelets, New Delhi

Bracelets, New Delhi

The arm and hand of a passenger on a train at New Delhi Train Station in India

Female commuters

Female commuters

Female commuters arring at Mumbai's Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus travel in Women-Only carriages.

Study in blue

Study in blue

A passenger looks through the open window of a railway carriage before his train departs.

Family day out

Family day out

A family travel on the "Bamboo Train' in Battambang, Cambodia. The railway is no longer used by passenger trains but local people have built bamboo platforms which rest upon old train wheels, allowing them to still travel on the rails.

Bamboo Train

Bamboo Train

Two drivers of bamboo train, or Norry, speed along the railway track.

Railway Children

Railway Children

Children play along the tracks on the now disused "Bamboo Railway".

Jungle Train

Jungle Train

A "bamboo train" or "Norry" consists of a platform made of bamboo laid upon old train wheels. Local people still use them as a means of transport, utilising the abandoned rails.

The Station Master

The Station Master

The smiling Station Master inside his office at a station on the Kandy to Badulla Railway Line in Sri Lanka.

Sunrise

Sunrise

Shortly after sunrise, the sunlight illuminates the carriages of the Kandy to Ella train in Sri Lanka.

Friendly passenger

Friendly passenger

A passenger on the "Circular Railway" in Yangkok, Myanmar.

In the sunlight.

In the sunlight.

A commuter on the early morning train from Colombo to Kandy is illuminated by the sun shining through a window.

Alagalla Mountain

Alagalla Mountain

Passengers on thr train from Colombo to Kandy in Sri Lanka are greeted by impressive views of Alagalla mountain.