The train ride back in time

Apr 16, 2013, 11:49 IST | Dhara Vora

Asia's first railway train chugged out from Bori Bunder and reached faraway Tannah (today's Thane) on April 16, 1853. To celebrate this historic ride that shaped the future of Indian Railways, The Guide's Dhara Vora set out on the rewind track on the eve of the 160th anniversary of the first passenger train ride

Heritage wing at cst
To revisit the history of Indian Railways, visit the Heritage Wing located inside Central Railway headquarters at CST. The archive houses miniature models as well as memorabilia such as gadgets used in the trains of yesteryear. The visit also includes a tour inside the heritage structure.
Cost: Rs 200, Rs 100 for students 
Open: 3 pm to 5 pm, Saturdays and
Sundays closed

Ride rewind: Thousands gather to witness a re-enactment of the first train ride on its 150th anniversary in 2003

Great legacy: Like the trams, the trains, too, faced doubts of the locals, and Great Indian Peninsula Railways had to advertise their services. A vintage advertisement of GIPR

Bridge over Thane creek a year later after the first train ride in 1853, Mumbai witnessed another first — the first Indian railway bridge, which was completed in 1854 over Thane Creek pics courtesy/central railway archives

Locomotive history: Three locomotives, Sahib, Sindh (in picture) and Sultan, manufactured by Vulcan Foundry; England, pulled the 14 coaches carrying 400 passengers

Scense from KurlaLA Passengers waiting at Kurla station in 1925

Google Doodle
Google doodle celebrates India's first passenger train. Courtesy: Google

Google's doodle Tuesday celebrated India's first passenger train journey With a chugging train trailing a plume of smoke in a backdrop of palm trees and what looks like a palace with domes and minarets.

Rail rendezvous
>> It’s not just our current politicians and bureaucrats who do this, but the first proposal for the railways was submitted in 1840, but by 1844, it was mooted. Most senior officials either vehemently opposed to the plan or just delayed discussing the subject.
>>  The Great Indian Peninsula Railway (GIPR) Company was formed in Bombay in 1846 and they built their railway terminus in Bori Bunder in 1850.
>>  The steam carriages were referred to as ‘ag gadi’ (because of their fiery appearance — thanks, to the steam from the engine).
>>  Unlike the CST building, which was completed in May 1888, Bori Bunder station was located behind today’s Dhobi Ghat and was just a make-shift wooden structure.
>>  The first train left Bori Bunder at 3.30 pm and took one hour and 15 minutes to cover approximately 21 miles to Thane.
>>  The then Governor Lord John Elphinstone flagged off India's first ever rail journey while His Excellency's band played in one of its carriages and that day was declared a holiday. Eminent citizens like Sir Jamserjee Jeejeebhoy were on that train.

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