“Lifeline Express” – Hospital train in India

IMPACTs Lifeline Express – the world’s first hospital to go on rails.

Six railway carriages have been rebuilt to create a ‘surgical hospital on wheels’, enabling free of charge medical intervention for large groups of impoverished people in hard-to-reach areas who stand without any form of health care services in India.

Since our start-up in 1991, more than 600 000 disabled people in India have been treated for unnecessary disabilities such as clubfoot and musculature issues, middle ear complications, cataracts, tooth issues and split palate onboard the Lifeline Express.

More than 100 000 health care professionals – from both India and beyond – have contributed with their skills and competence, and in a cost efficient way laid the foundation for a new life for thousands of disabled people. Proving our concept’s efficiency, it has now been duplicated with four Lifeline Express trains in China in addition to two in South Africa.

The Lifeline Express has received a number of distinctions, including United Nations’ Grand Award for Excellence in Public Service, as well as being honoured by the Indian government with the release of a national stamp with the image of Lifeline Express.

Watch the Lifeline Express documentary ”The Magic Train of India” from BBC here.

Dashrath is deaf, Bharat can’t walk, and baby Shiva is born with cleft lip and cleft palate. There is no available health care offer for them, nor can they afford surgery. This is the story of a very special train; IMPACT’s Lifeline Express, also known as ‘The Magical Train.’ With two operating theatres, each project consists of a team of volunteer doctors, surgeons and nurses offering their services for free. A camera team follows the crew for four weeks while the train is positioned at a railway station in the middle of India. Lifeline Express changes lives of patients and doctors alike.


BBC, 6th of June, 2012.