Indian Railway completes 171 years; Central Railway describes its pioneering journey

15 April,2024 04:01 PM IST |  Mumbai  |  mid-day online correspondent

The first train in Asia, and India ran between Mumbai and Thane on April 16, 1853. It was flagged off from Boribunder-the place where Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus stands now

Central Railways completes 171 years. Pic/CR

The Indian Railways will complete 171 on Tuesday. The first train in Asia, and India ran between Mumbai and Thane on April 16, 1853. It was flagged off from Boribunder-the place where Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) presently stands. The Central Railway issued a press statement describing the glorious journey of the Indian Railways.

The Great Indian Peninsula Railway, which ran the first train, merged with the Indian Midland Railway Company in 1900 and extended its frontiers from Delhi in the North to Kanpur and Allahabad in the North-east and Nagpur in the East to Raichur in the South-east.

On 5 November 1951, the Central Railway was formed by integrating Nizam State, Scindia State and Dholpur State Railways. Presently, Central Railway with its five divisions, namely Mumbai, Bhusaval, Nagpur, Solapur and Pune has a network over 4,275 route kilometres in the states of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka. It serves these states through 466 railway stations, the statement issued by Central Railway public relations department said.

From the first train in April 1853 to the most modern train in India- the Vande Bharat Express, the Indian Railways have expanded its network to serve the people to the length and breath of the country. Presently, Central Railway runs six Vande Bharat Express trains. The routes are: CSMT-Sainagar Shirdi, CSMT-Solapur, CSMT-Madgaon, CSMT-Jalna, Nagpur-Bilaspur and Nagpur-Indore Vande Bharat.

Central Railway is also has many of firsts in running express trains in India, some of then been: Shatabdi Express, Jan Shatabdi Express, Tejas Express among others. While, some of its oldest trains are still operations, like Punjab Mail which is still running and popular among its passengers even after 100 years, the statement said.

Running the first electric train service in India between Bombay VT (now CSMT) and Kurla Harbour on February 3, 1925 laid the foundation of Electrification of Railways and Mumbai suburban services, which today is the lifeline of Mumbai city.

Today, Central Railway has achieved 100 percent electrification and the suburban network has steadily increased. Presently, Central Railway has five suburban corridors. The suburban services which started from mere three coaches have gradually increased to 12 coaches and some services with 15 coaches. Air conditioned suburban services were also introduced to make travel more comfortable.

The originating loading which was 16.58 million ton at the time of formation, has now increased to 89.24 million ton in the year 2023-24. Apart from this, infrastructure works like construction of new railway lines, doubling, construction of bridges, construction of new stations among other services are being done at fast pace which includes the highest volume of 348 kilometres of multi-tracking work completed in this financial year, the statement by Central Railway added.

The statement also spoke about the Neral-Matheran services also completed 117 years. The Neral-Matheran railway construction was started in 1904 and the two feet gauge line was opened to traffic in 1907. As a precautionary measure, the line used to be closed during the monsoons, however, shuttle services between Aman Lodge and Matheran were introduced in 2012, which runs even in the monsoon.

From 1853 to the present, Central Railway has always been and will always strive to be the pioneer in providing the best services and is committed to providing a safe, comfortable and convenient journey to its passengers, the statement issued by its public relations department said.

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