171 Years Of Indian Railway Track Fest: A Journey Through Time and Milestones

171 Years Of Indian Railway Track Fest: A Journey Through Time and Milestones

Some of the oldest trains, such as the Punjab Mail are still running and popular among its passengers even after 100 years.

Kamal MishraUpdated: Tuesday, April 16, 2024, 12:51 AM IST
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The Indian Railways commemorates 171 years of its service today, tracing its journey back to April 16, 1853, when Asia’s first train traversed from Mumbai’s Boribunder (today known as the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus; CSMT) to Thane.

In 1900, the Great Indian Peninsula Railway merged with the Indian Midland Railway Company, expanding its reach from Delhi in the North to Kanpur, Allahabad and Nagpur in the Northeast and Raichur in the Southeast.

Electrification Milestones And Modern Advancements In Central Railway

The first electric train service in India – between Bombay VT (CSMT) and Kurla Harbour on February 3, 1925 – laid the foundation for the electrification of railways. Today, remarkably, the Central Railway (CR) has achieved 100% electrification. Notably, the present-day Vande Bharat Express has six trains – CSMT-Sainagar Shirdi, CSMT-Solapur, CSMT-Madgaon, CSMT-Jalna, Nagpur-Bilaspur and Nagpur-Indore Vande Bharat.

From Formation To Modern Services

The CR was formed on November 5, 1951, by integrating the Nizam State, Scindia State and Dholpur State Railways. At present, the CR has five divisions – Mumbai, Bhusaval, Nagpur, Solapur and Pune – with a network of 466 stations across 4,275km in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka.

The CR also started the Shatabdi Express, Jan Shatabdi Express and the Tejas Express. Some of the oldest trains, such as the Punjab Mail are still running and popular among its passengers even after 100 years.

Historic Milestone For Neral-Matheran Light Railway

For Mumbai suburbs, the CR has five corridors. It started with three coaches, and increased to nine and 12 coaches, and some even to 15 coaches, besides operating AC trains.

Meanwhile, the Neral-Matheran Light Railway completed 117 years on April 15. It was inaugurated in 1907, three years after railway construction started in 1904. As a precautionary measure, the line used to be closed during the monsoons. However, shuttle services between Aman Lodge and Matheran were introduced in September 2012 to run during monsoons.

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