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The Mumbai Suburban Railway System is described as the most complex, densely loaded and intensively utilized system in the world. It has the highest passenger density in the world- carrying as it does 6.3 million commuters each day. Adrian Eric Baldrey is not the CEO of any large corporation. He is a motorman in Mumbai’s suburban railway system who has just retired after 34 years service. ( Correction: I have since been informed that Mr. Baldrey has not yet retired and in fact has 4 years service left.)

I salute him and people like him who have the tough task of getting the trains on time. Mumbai’s record in this aspect is perhaps the best in India. Commuters swear by the punctuality of their ” local”. If you miss your customary 6.15, you miss not your favourite seat but perhaps the same companions who have travelled with you along that route for years.

I was happy to read Roana Maria Costa’s article in the Times of India bid adieu to Mr. Baldrey. It was a nice gesture- not only to acknowledge the contributions of one man but really to appreciate the hard work put in over innumerable years by people like him. Adrian Baldrey represents the Mumbai motorman. Relatively unknown. Quite unsung but they hold together the fabric of a bustling city. Toiling day after day- come hell or high water. Neither bomb blasts or the fury of the rains have succeeded in bring the suburban system to a crashing halt.

It appears that Adrian Baldrey also happens to be the last Anglo-India motorman in Mumbai’s network. There was a time decades ago when the majority of engine drivers in India’s Railways were Anglo-Indians. it was in their tradition to work in the Railways. Mr. Baldrey’s case is no different with both his father and grand father having been engine drivers before him.

You may never see this but I would like to thank you for your years of service, Mr. Baldrey.

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This is Post No: 281 of the “A Step A Day” series : To provide perspective and provoke thought to facilitate self-development across a wide spectrum of issues- big and small- crucial for executive success.