Mumbai: Central Railway to flag off local resembling old era train from CSMT today

Published: Feb 03, 2020, 12:05 IST | Rajendra B Aklekar | Mumbai

Today marks 95 years since the first electric passenger train ran on the Indian Railways.

The train will recreate the journey of the first electric train that ran on February 3, 1925.
The train will recreate the journey of the first electric train that ran on February 3, 1925.

The Central Railway will flag off a special local train resembling the one in the old era from Mumbai CSMT to Kurla/Vashi to commemorate 95 years of electric railways in India, on Monday. The train will recreate the journey of the first electric train that ran on this day, February 3, 1925.

"The train has been specially decorated with old nostalgic photographs and will recreate the first electric local journey. It has been painted in the original colour and given a few old features of the old DC era. The train will be open for passengers," a CR spokesperson said.

Today marks 95 years since the first electric passenger train ran on the Indian Railways. Just as passengers vie for the AC train, they waited eagerly to board a train that offered a clean –smokeless – journey then. The first train had been flagged off by Sir Leslie Wilson, the then Governor of Bombay and today, it will be flagged off  by the General Manger in the afternoon

CR archives state that the proposal had been worked out as early as 1904, but money and later, the first world war delayed the project and it was eventually taken up around the 1920s.

Plans were drawn up for lines in Bombay (now Mumbai) and Madras (now Chennai). As the train ran that day, newspapers of the day said the era of clean transport had just arrived in Bombay, as steam engines used to create a lot of smoke and noise, and this was the first time that commuters were experiencing a smokeless journey.

The debut journey of the electric train was a short one, with the train covering the 16-kilometre distance at the remarkable speed of 50 miles per hour. The first motorman was Jahangir Framji Daruwala, a senior driver with the Great Indian Peninsula Railway, as Central Railway was called in those days.

It was three years later in 1928 that the first electric train ran on the Western Railway, then called the Bombay, Baroda and Central India Railway (BB&CIR).

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