| The first train in India in 1853
The first train ever to run on Indian soil
started 157 years ago on April 16, 1853.
According to records the first train ever to run on Indian soil
started 157 years ago on April 16, 1853. According to records the first train carried Lady
Falkland, wife of the governor of Bombay, along with 400 special invitees.
The 34-kilometre run began at 3.30 pm amidst 21-gun salutes and applauses from
thousands gathered around and traversed in exactly one hour fifteen minutes. April 16,1853 was a occasion so momentous that it was
declared a public holiday.
Three brand new steam engines — Sahib, Sindh and Sultan more than a century and a half ago,
hauled the coaches. Work on the CST-Thane route started in 1851 and took just 25 months. Over 10,000 workers saw
that the project was completed at 20% lesser than the projected cost.
Vulcan Foundry, England manufactured the locomotives used on this run. A total
of eight engines, GIP Nos 1-8 and bearing makers numbers 324-331, were ordered
from the foundry in 1852 and the locomotives were of the type 2-4-0. These were
the earliest known locomotives in service in India then. The earliest steam
locomotive still in service has been certified by Guinness as the Fairy Queen.
Villagers compared the train to God and in reverence put red tilaks on the smoke
stacks on the engine, left offerings of food, money on the footplate and flowers
on the tracks, said CR records.
Meanwhile, on February 3,1925 the first EMU, that is, suburban service started
between VT and Kurla on the harbour line with just four coaches. The same year
CR ran 150 services per day, which a fraction 1468 which crisscross over the
length and breath of the city today. And while they were just 80 million
commuters per year or 21,9178 per day in 1925 there are around 3.5 million
dependent on the lifeline today. Around 50% of Mumbai depend on the suburban
railways everyday for daily commute and it has been dubbed as the lifeline of the city.
In a run up to the momentous anniversary Railway week was celebrated all
over the India by Railways.