Space is scarce in Dhaka, Bangladesh’s vibrant capital. So is money. An estimated number of more than 10 million people live in Dhaka, making it one of the world’s most populated cities. Poor neighbourhoods, by western definitions called slums, are continuously growing. The space next to the railway tracks has long been occupied by numerous makeshift homes. But living in that area isn’t free of charge.  Families pay up to 800 Taka (around eight Euro) per month to keep their homes. The lack of sanitation facilities, running water and waste disposal defines some of the harsh living conditions people face. But life goes on along the tracks: Kids play, caring mothers prepare food for their families, others rest inside their homes away from the midday sun. But the people living next to railway tracks often consider themselves lucky.  They have a fixed roof over their heads, food and of course their families to take care of them. As a photographer I was walking around endless makeshift dwellings; I was stepping inside strangers homes; I was watching people sleeping, eating, playing and resting; always trying to respect the privacy of the individual. I soon realized though that privacy is nearly non-existant when living along the railway tracks. Life Along the Railway Tracks by Michael Biach A colourful woman walking on the railway tracks. A family cooking lunch at a fireplace between two railway tracks. The first row of makeshift rooms is situated only centimetres away from the tracks. Life along the railway tracks. A young mother holding her newborn who has already spent the first two weeks of his life along the tracks. A poor man walking along the railway tracks is begging for food. Another man is selling lemons. Even in Dhaka’s poorest parts there is a difference between those who have something and those who have nothing. Man walking on the tracks. Kids take a free ride on top of a train which is illegal but endured. Kids play in front of a makeshift house. Kids in front of a makeshift house. A woman cooking in front of her house. Two kids excited about being photographed. A boy sitting on the railway tracks, playing in front of the makeshift house where he lives with his family. An old woman and her grandson inside a makeshift room. Three boys stand together for a picture. An old couple, worn from a hard life, next to their makeshift home. The living space next to the railway tracks is limited.  Inhabitants store most of their bulky belongings on top of their homes. Back to current issue