History of Indian railways

10:44 PM
Many people across the world might consider railways as a mode of transportation. But in India it is more than just that. Here it is a way to experience different cultures, meet new people, make new friends, learn new languages and see new places.

Railways is a very dear experience that you get in no other mode of transportation. May be that is the reason people still love travelling in trains though there are many other modes of transportation. There are many facilities like Railway Restaurant and lavatories that make train journey convenient.


Indian railways has a vast history behind it. It is as long as the modern Indian history itself. Let us look at some of the important milestones in the history of the Indian railways –
  • Hon.JaganathShunkersethwell known as Nana Shankarsheth along with Sir JamsetjeeJejeebhoyformed the Indian Railway Association in 1845.
  • The first train in India ran between Roorkee and PiranKaliyar in 1851 on December 22. Clay was transported to solve the irrigation problems of farmers from PiranKaliyartoRoorkee.
  • The first commercial train in India ran between Bombay and Thane. This was in the year 1853 on 16 April. It was a 14 carriage long train. 3 locomotives named Sultan, Sindh and Sahib were used to run the train.
  • In 1900, GIPR a private company began to be owned by the government.
  • In 1901, though the Railway Board was established, Lord Curzon remained in charge of the system. The railway board came under the Department of Commerce and Industry. There was a chairman, a manager and an agent of the company. This is when the Railways began to make a revenue.
  • The first electric train of India ran from Bombay to Kurla. It covered a distance of 16 kms. This was in 1925 on February 3rd.
  • In 1925, India’s first rail budget was submitted by the government to the legislative assembly.
  • After independence in 1947, India was left with abroken-down rail network. More than 40 per cent of the railway lines went to Pakistan after partition. This lead to the rerouting of many tracks. New lines were constructed. During independence, there were only 42 distinct railway systems, 32 lines and 55,000 km of track.
  • In 1952, the zonal format was introduced. Six zones were created for the entire country. In 2003, on 6thSeptember, six more zones were introduced. This was only for administration and maintenance purpose. In 2006, one more zone was added. Today, there are a total of seventeen zones in the Indian Railways. This includes the Kolkata Metro.
  • In 1988, the fastest train in India was launched. The Bhopal shatabdi express travelled at a speed of 150kmph. The train travels from Delhi to Bhopal. Today, there are many shatabdi trains operating between major cities of the country.
  • On august 3rd 2002, the facility of online booking of railway tickets was launched. People could now reserve their tickets without waiting in long queues.
  • Many movies, songs and short films have been shot on trains. For example, Sholay, Chennai express, Dil se and the burning train.
These are some of the major milestones in the history of Indian railways.

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