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India's Railway Man: A Biography of E. Sreedharan

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Sreedharan’s expertise and foresight—on behalf of those not as richly blessed as he was—ensured that political will was converted into a multipurpose railway project. The [Chithoni railway link] bridge was completed eleven weeks ahead of schedule and proved to be helpful to one and all. Two key railway projects changed the way India travels by train—the 760-km stretch of Ko Sreedharan’s expertise and foresight—on behalf of those not as richly blessed as he was—ensured that political will was converted into a multipurpose railway project. The [Chithoni railway link] bridge was completed eleven weeks ahead of schedule and proved to be helpful to one and all. Two key railway projects changed the way India travels by train—the 760-km stretch of Konkan Railway and the Delhi Metro. Both the projects were up and running in seven years flat and the man in charge was Dr Elattuvalapil Sreedharan, popularly known as the Railway Man. He has been hailed as the messiah of new-age infrastructure projects and his success stories have become railway engineering benchmark. Respected, loved and equally hated, this book covers the amazing story of one man—his perseverance, beliefs, and public and private battles. India’s Railway Man: A Biography of E. Sreedharan is a tribute to this extraordinary man.


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Sreedharan’s expertise and foresight—on behalf of those not as richly blessed as he was—ensured that political will was converted into a multipurpose railway project. The [Chithoni railway link] bridge was completed eleven weeks ahead of schedule and proved to be helpful to one and all. Two key railway projects changed the way India travels by train—the 760-km stretch of Ko Sreedharan’s expertise and foresight—on behalf of those not as richly blessed as he was—ensured that political will was converted into a multipurpose railway project. The [Chithoni railway link] bridge was completed eleven weeks ahead of schedule and proved to be helpful to one and all. Two key railway projects changed the way India travels by train—the 760-km stretch of Konkan Railway and the Delhi Metro. Both the projects were up and running in seven years flat and the man in charge was Dr Elattuvalapil Sreedharan, popularly known as the Railway Man. He has been hailed as the messiah of new-age infrastructure projects and his success stories have become railway engineering benchmark. Respected, loved and equally hated, this book covers the amazing story of one man—his perseverance, beliefs, and public and private battles. India’s Railway Man: A Biography of E. Sreedharan is a tribute to this extraordinary man.

30 review for India's Railway Man: A Biography of E. Sreedharan

  1. 4 out of 5

    Surabhi Sharma

    The book begins with Mr. E. Shreedharan and his daughter’s note. The biography of metro man is sounding more like a history of Indian Railway. The author diverts from his path while putting his life on paper. Yes, it is understood that E.Shreedharan and railway are one or the same but a reader can expect a biography must be more about him, a person behind the designation, awards, having a larger than life image, then his career in railways and projects he carried out. A reader is least interested The book begins with Mr. E. Shreedharan and his daughter’s note. The biography of metro man is sounding more like a history of Indian Railway. The author diverts from his path while putting his life on paper. Yes, it is understood that E.Shreedharan and railway are one or the same but a reader can expect a biography must be more about him, a person behind the designation, awards, having a larger than life image, then his career in railways and projects he carried out. A reader is least interested in getting into technicalities of how a railway project has been completed. Why a reader is interested in knowing an order no. of an appointment letter of Mr. Sreedharan. I do not understand why author mentions how much tons of cement and other building material is used in constructing a particular railway project. The author went to the extent of mentioning points of interim report submitted by him. I expect to know more of Mr. Sreedharan as a human behind his identity of railway or metro man. A person and his work are never being the same. Author tell a tale of his work ethics and give little space to his life after and before working hours. I won’t say the book is a disappointment, but it diverts from the track every then and now and filled with unnecessary and unwanted details of railway projects. The book is 60% of his biography and 40% is the history of Indian railways. At the end, there is a long list of awards and citations of facts and figures mentioned in the book. This book is a biography of both a man (Mr. Sreedharan) and railway. https://thereviewauthor.wordpress.com/

  2. 4 out of 5

    Vasudhendra Vasudhendra

    I wanted to know the challenges this country faced during the Metro construction. But this book gives a brief biography of Mr. E. Sreedharan and doesn't go anything beyond. The narration is plain and more like a bigger version of biodata. This book may be helpful for a person who needs an introduction to E. Sreedharan, but fails to impress a regular reader. I wanted to know the challenges this country faced during the Metro construction. But this book gives a brief biography of Mr. E. Sreedharan and doesn't go anything beyond. The narration is plain and more like a bigger version of biodata. This book may be helpful for a person who needs an introduction to E. Sreedharan, but fails to impress a regular reader.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Abhilash Ruhela

    Reading an autobiography/biography has always been my interest. There has been times when I had woken up all night to finish the book in this genre out of excitement to learn everything that the famous, successful or inspiring personality has done all over his life to maintain the discipline and integrity. This time I picked up the book written by Rajendra B. Aklekar on the life of E. Sreedharan named “India’s Railway Man”. The cover page of the book showing E. Sreedharan folding his fans wearin Reading an autobiography/biography has always been my interest. There has been times when I had woken up all night to finish the book in this genre out of excitement to learn everything that the famous, successful or inspiring personality has done all over his life to maintain the discipline and integrity. This time I picked up the book written by Rajendra B. Aklekar on the life of E. Sreedharan named “India’s Railway Man”. The cover page of the book showing E. Sreedharan folding his fans wearing a blazer with a smiling face yet determined tells about the person being discussed in the book. Sreedharan has many accomplished projects under his name; most popular being Konkan Railway and Delhi Metro. Due to his work in his stint while working for Delhi Metro and completing the project under the specified duration, he also got the name “Metro Man”. Rajendra B. Aklekar’s passion for railway can be sensed through his style of writing. The way he discusses few projects in depth tells how much author has invested himself in this field. And that’s the reason when he writes about the most famous man in the history of Indian Railway, his enthusiasm and curiosity for the same can be deciphered. Rajendra has not only discussed the man but the development of Indian Railways during the same era in detail. The book is nicely divided in section making it easy for the reader to understand every important project that the Railway Man has accomplished in his tenure. The few big decisions and challenges that the Man faced during his career is also described which no other person at his place would have questioned or initiated. The way he fought his own battle for gaining the amount of salary as per his designation and work is a wonderful part in the book. The chapter where few people talks both positive and negative about Sreedharan shows that the author has also tried to speak about where the Man did not do right through someone else’ voice. Talking about the drawbacks of the book- As author discusses the whole book in terms of the special events, he sometimes repeats himself twice or thrice in the book making it irritable for the reader to go through the same stuff again and again. Also, this book is not much about Sreedharan but how the Indian Railway was getting changed and developed during that era. Just because it seems that Sreedharan has been a big part of it that he has been mentioned majority of the times. It would have been wonderful if author would have focused more on the life of Sreedharan than talking only about his professional accomplishments. But still, this book is a must-read if you need to know about the Railway Man and are interested about the railways. I give this book 3.75* out of 5. Thanks. ABHILASH RUHELA – VEERU!!!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Nistha Tripathi

    I know so little about some of the Indian heroes and this book was a good reminder of that! Having seen my own Dad toil through government service where often the political motives shadowed the good work, one wonders how things get done in India at all! Reading about Mr. Sreedharan is humbling and a lesson in karmayoga, discipline and ethics. It is not easy to do what he has done with grit and honor and every Indian should know about him. Coming to the book, I skimmed through some sections becaus I know so little about some of the Indian heroes and this book was a good reminder of that! Having seen my own Dad toil through government service where often the political motives shadowed the good work, one wonders how things get done in India at all! Reading about Mr. Sreedharan is humbling and a lesson in karmayoga, discipline and ethics. It is not easy to do what he has done with grit and honor and every Indian should know about him. Coming to the book, I skimmed through some sections because I was more interested in facts. Reading about the Konkan Railway and Delhi Metro projects was a delight and makes me a fan of this true son of India. It is inspirational to hear of his adherence to Gita and its application in his projects. Overall, a quick and good read. Would recommend.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Vaishali Gupta

    One thing I absolutely loved and admired about this book is that it covers the brick bats as fairly as the accolades!! It only goes onto re strengthen the integrity and transparency aspects of Mr Metro Man's character! The book is loaded with technical details and numbers crunched for a lay man's understanding. The mammoth work done by Mr E. Sreedharan cannot be understood and appreciated without these numbers. However that does slow down the progress and also affects the emotional connect that One thing I absolutely loved and admired about this book is that it covers the brick bats as fairly as the accolades!! It only goes onto re strengthen the integrity and transparency aspects of Mr Metro Man's character! The book is loaded with technical details and numbers crunched for a lay man's understanding. The mammoth work done by Mr E. Sreedharan cannot be understood and appreciated without these numbers. However that does slow down the progress and also affects the emotional connect that the book may have built otherwise. All in all, a great peek into the times and works of Mr Sreedharan

  6. 5 out of 5

    N S

    Average book, I was interested in more content around DMRC journey

  7. 4 out of 5

    Sangram Tayade

    A man to look up to, a technocrat who rose to the calling and executed mammoth tasks for the nation! A man who needs to be understood more, the author I feed could not justify Sreedharan's virtues fully through his writing. Railways, a means we presume to be outmoded for personal travel have such an important role to play in the movement of cargo and essentials to the vast hinterland of India, and contribute to pushing our society to the next steps of development. This man, E. Sreedharan has sing A man to look up to, a technocrat who rose to the calling and executed mammoth tasks for the nation! A man who needs to be understood more, the author I feed could not justify Sreedharan's virtues fully through his writing. Railways, a means we presume to be outmoded for personal travel have such an important role to play in the movement of cargo and essentials to the vast hinterland of India, and contribute to pushing our society to the next steps of development. This man, E. Sreedharan has single-handedly executed multiple tough projects in strict budgets and timelines to expand the railway footprint in India. Completing 35 years of dedicated service to the nation in his tenure as a railway engineer, heading enormous assignments with his technical expertise and managerial prowess was just the backdrop of his career. The real challenges started once he was about to retire at the usual age of 58 for a government employee. Indian Railways could not let go of a man of such cadre and integrity. Sreedharan's will to serve the nation pushed him to work another two and a half decades to enforce his seasoned expertise on projects like the Konkan railway ( a vital link for the west coast of Indian coastline) and numerous metro projects. It is rare to find a person who works incessantly on projects which have strict deadlines and that require high level of technical competence and accountability. Projects which would affect millions in the coming years, projects which need to be executed with limited resources with vested interest of politicians and bureaucrats. Battling away one problem after the other, Sreedharan is a man of integrity. The author has covered quite a lot for this man's 6-decade long service, and also included some criticisms which a person of such following will have. This give a holistic view of Sreedharan's career. There are also some add-on writings in the book from his family members, his spiritual guru and the first meeting of the author himself with Sreedharan. Such excerps give us how people close to him perceived Sreedharan and which of his qualities reflected from his work. A modest man, who served his mother nation with all his vigour and continues to inspire millions of young Indians to follow his ideals on integrity, punctuality and professional competence.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Aditya Ganjoo

    As the people of India, we have been and still are rapidly adopting a different approach of mass transport and logistics. And practically, Dr E Sridharan is the Vishwakarma of it. Construction of the first panamax vessel, development of Konkan Railways and commissioning of Delhi Metro were some of the watershed moments of Indian mass transport sector and Dr. Sreedharan was the head of all of these. This biography predominantly focuses on the professional life of Dr. E Sreedharan after he retired As the people of India, we have been and still are rapidly adopting a different approach of mass transport and logistics. And practically, Dr E Sridharan is the Vishwakarma of it. Construction of the first panamax vessel, development of Konkan Railways and commissioning of Delhi Metro were some of the watershed moments of Indian mass transport sector and Dr. Sreedharan was the head of all of these. This biography predominantly focuses on the professional life of Dr. E Sreedharan after he retired from Indian Railways- the stakeholder management of state and central stakeholders, technical challenges and team building approaches. His emphasis on the completion within the timelines, his capability to decentralise the tasks and learning from Shrimad Bhagwat Geeta are, according to me, the key takeaways of this book. Personal write ups of Dr Sreedharan, his family members and Guru, his praisers and critics does provide a holostic view. And his reasoning for the requiremnt of the HSR (Bullet trains) does give a wide perspective which the political leaders failed to communicate. Overall a good read! P.S- Do not miss a small but significant mention of Padma Vibhushan Mr. Jagmohan, Lt Gov of Delhi. His contribution to India deserves a lot more appreciation

  9. 4 out of 5

    Venkateswara

    The main attraction to read this book is Dr.E.Sreedharan. The author might have collected data from the Personal Assistant, daughter and few others. So , the main draw back is the lack of personal details , feelings , emotions of Dr.Sreedharan. I am impressed very much by the extraordinary work done by the legendary engineer. But , my curiosity about the making of such an extraordinary personality is not satisfied even till the last page. However, the writer should have spent some more time , tal The main attraction to read this book is Dr.E.Sreedharan. The author might have collected data from the Personal Assistant, daughter and few others. So , the main draw back is the lack of personal details , feelings , emotions of Dr.Sreedharan. I am impressed very much by the extraordinary work done by the legendary engineer. But , my curiosity about the making of such an extraordinary personality is not satisfied even till the last page. However, the writer should have spent some more time , talking to him, about his early life, career and post retired assignments.( to fill the gaps) The narration also need to be more gripping. Author need to hone his skills of narration. Any how , it is a must read for all the engineers of this country. Most attracting point about is his dedication and staunch will , which did not care external distractions in all forms. Once again kudos to the towering personality of Dr.Sreedharan and best wises to the author.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Sandeep Bhat

    Travelling in trains are one's fondest memories in childhood. One person who has been most inspiring with his amazing work on Konkan Railway is Mr. Sreedharan. Writing a biopic on a living person is always challenging especially in today's scenarios of defamation suits. Mr. Aklekar has successfully combined facts with perspectives and set them chronologically to trace the lifetime journey of the Metro Man of India. Apart from what's there in the public sphere, the book also contains his experien Travelling in trains are one's fondest memories in childhood. One person who has been most inspiring with his amazing work on Konkan Railway is Mr. Sreedharan. Writing a biopic on a living person is always challenging especially in today's scenarios of defamation suits. Mr. Aklekar has successfully combined facts with perspectives and set them chronologically to trace the lifetime journey of the Metro Man of India. Apart from what's there in the public sphere, the book also contains his experiences before the Konkan Railway and DMRCL. The conflict of IAS vs technocrats, spirituality and MD getting lesser salary than the chief engineer is discussed in details. The language and narration style is very simple and to the point.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Sparsh

    The book about E.Shreedharan is very inspiring as it takes us on his journey from a school student to his railway days and executing few of the most difficult projects like Konkan railways and efficient projects such as Delhi Metro. One thing that would have been better in the book was the use of words such as sleepers, gantry beams and other technical words could had been avoided and instead could be explained in some easier language. I being a Civil Engineer could understand those words but not The book about E.Shreedharan is very inspiring as it takes us on his journey from a school student to his railway days and executing few of the most difficult projects like Konkan railways and efficient projects such as Delhi Metro. One thing that would have been better in the book was the use of words such as sleepers, gantry beams and other technical words could had been avoided and instead could be explained in some easier language. I being a Civil Engineer could understand those words but not sure if everyone from a non technical background would be able to absorb it. Over all I have immense respect for Mr.Shreedharan, our metro man of India.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Ayan Roy Choudhury

    Mr Aklekar is very impartial, when stating the achievements and controversies of Mr. Sreedharan. Mr Sreedharan has a great mind for Project Management, which can be seen in his tenure in Konkan railways and DMRC, His rules for living life and governing an organization are very simple and practical enough but needs great integrity and devotion to follow them.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Shahnawaz Haque

    Good book on the life of E Shreedharan.Its a fast read and may not appeal few people the primary reason is Shreedharan himself never wants to publish his story and also his way of thinking (a saying taken from Yoga Vashistha) which is mentioned in the book as "Whatever is to be done I do But in reality I do not do anything" Good book on the life of E Shreedharan.Its a fast read and may not appeal few people the primary reason is Shreedharan himself never wants to publish his story and also his way of thinking (a saying taken from Yoga Vashistha) which is mentioned in the book as "Whatever is to be done I do But in reality I do not do anything"

  14. 5 out of 5

    venkata satyanarayana vijjana

    Inspiring Leader Spoke about virtues of leadership, inspiring journey of gigantic projects and hardles. It could have been better if its focused on sharing his leadership style and tactical team deployment, etc. Author narration could have been better... 5 is for what its brought to the table...

  15. 4 out of 5

    Giridharan Santhanam

    Striking humility and simplicity of a man who aggressively brought in the breakthrough needed for the country. For those who believe that good projects get tarnished by the barriers of the Government organization, this gives a different perspective.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Vinodh Kanakadass

    Very inspiring book! I loved the chapter on the Konkan Railway Project. A must read chapter for every person who is interested in project management.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Brijesh

    till chapter 4 the book is interesting the last few chapters are just stretched out

  18. 5 out of 5

    Nirali Lakdawala

    A well written book on India's metro man. I got to know about konkan railway challenges, metro revolution in India and many other things. A well written book on India's metro man. I got to know about konkan railway challenges, metro revolution in India and many other things.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Malhar Lakdawala

    Nice book, on how one person can make an impact even in a bureaucratic structure. Indian Raiways and Indian Metro owe a lot to this person

  20. 4 out of 5

    Svatantra Agrawal

    Book is very inspiring about the story of Sh. E. Shreedharan. However, I found it too little to pay more. Better if you can get it through your friends or library.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Arjun Gopal

    Excellent book by rajendra aklekar. Even though most of the information on Dr. sreedharan is in public domain, the author has done an excellent work in compiling them. The letter by swami bhoomanand on sreedharan is really motivating. However after reading Halt station India, I expected that the author would provide personal experiences/snippets on konkan railway, as he has an excellent eye for details in trains. It would be great if he can write a book on konkan railway, the greatest engineerin Excellent book by rajendra aklekar. Even though most of the information on Dr. sreedharan is in public domain, the author has done an excellent work in compiling them. The letter by swami bhoomanand on sreedharan is really motivating. However after reading Halt station India, I expected that the author would provide personal experiences/snippets on konkan railway, as he has an excellent eye for details in trains. It would be great if he can write a book on konkan railway, the greatest engineering marvel in independent india!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Varun Mittal

    Poorly written inspiring account of an important contributor to building the India of the future. Covers resolutions to vexing issues at the confluence of business and politics. Shortcomings include lack of detail, dry tone and frequency of basic grammatical errors.

  23. 5 out of 5

    K E Balan

  24. 4 out of 5

    Mudit Jain

  25. 5 out of 5

    Darshan Sudhakar

  26. 4 out of 5

    Sayantan Dasgupta

  27. 5 out of 5

    Abhijay Sisodia

  28. 4 out of 5

    Awehornet

  29. 5 out of 5

    raghu

  30. 5 out of 5

    Stump Vision

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