Railways celebrates 165th birthday
Network ferries 8.1b passengers and over 1.1b tonnes of freight annually as of 2016
Indian Railways celebrated its 165th birthday yesterday. The country’s first passenger train ran between Bori Bunder (later rebuilt as Victoria Terminus and then renamed Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus) and Thane, Maharashtra, on April 16, 1853.
The 14-carriage first passenger train was hauled by three steam locomotives — named Sahib, Sindh and Sultan — carrying 400 passengers.
Even though freight trains in India started running long before 1853, it was the first time that a passenger train plied on the tracks of Indian Railways.
The train stopped at Sion for 15 minutes to water the engines and oil the new wheels.
It finally arrived at Thane which stretched for 40 kilometres, after 55 minutes, travelling at a speed of 60 kilometres per hour, to a jubilant welcome from the crowds gathered there.
Billions of passengers
In November 1852, a year before the maiden journey, a trial run took place but it was done with a shunting locomotive instead of a rail engine.
Later on, The Great Indian Peninsular Railway was formed.
Since then, Indian Railways is the largest public transporter and also one of the largest employers in the world which has been serving the nation by carrying more than 23 million railway passengers across all trains per day.
The rail network ferries 8.1 billion passengers and over 1.1 billion tonnes of freight annually as of 2016.
India’s first passenger train plied between Bori Bunder and Thane 165 years ago on April 16.