Mumbai: The world’s first ‘Ladies Special’ suburban train completed 25 years on Thursday since its maiden run in Mumbai on May 5, 1992. The milestone of dedicating an entire train exclusively for women helped the estimated one million-plus Mumbai women commuters to travel safety to and from their homes and workplaces.
The path-breaking event prompted other railways in India and abroad to emulate the Western Railway. Western Railway Chief PRO Ravinder Bhakar said when it was flagged off, the ‘Ladies Special’ was welcomed with great enthusiasm by women who were till then forced to travel in cramped regular ladies compartments of the suburban trains.
Initially run between Churchgate and Borivali, it was extended the next year to Virar following its immense popularity. “The 1990s witnessed huge industrial and commercial boom towards south Mumbai with an increase in the number of working women commuting from the suburbs. The Ladies Special trains helped them commute more comfortably and safely,” Bhakar explained. Currently, there are eight Ladies Special services on Western Railway in the morning and evening. Women have adjusted their office and other timings to ensure they catch one of them.