People wait to board a train on a railway platform in Mirzapur in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. By the end of the day, about 40 people on average will have died somewhere on the network of 64,000 km (39,800 miles) of track. Many will be slum-dwellers and poor villagers who live near the lines and use them as places to wash and as open toilets. Some will have fallen off overcrowded commuter trains. Of the 20 million people who travel daily on the network, many will arrive hours, even a day, behind schedule, having clattered along tracks and been guided by signalling systems built before India gained independence from Britain in 1947.