160th anniversary of the first passenger train in India is the subject of Tuesdays’ Google doodle.
The history of rail transport in India goes all the way back to 1832, when a plan for a rail system in India was first put forward. The first rail line in the Indian sub-continent came up near Chintadripet Bridge (in modern-day Chennai) in 1836 as an “experimental line”. In 1837, a 5.6 km long rail line was established between Red Hills and the stone quarries near St. Thomas Mount.
However, it wasn’t until 1853-54, when two new railway companies, Great Indian Peninsular Railway (GIPR) and East Indian Railway (EIR), were created, that the railways as we known it today began to take shape. GIPR was asked to setup near Mumbai, and EIR was to setup a railway line near Kolkata (Calcutta at the time). Thus, the first train in India became operational on 22 December 1851 for localised hauling of canal construction material in Roorkee.
16 April 1853 was the historic date when India’s first passenger train journey took place between Bori Bunder in Mumbai and Thane. Covering a distance of 34 kilometres, it was hauled by three locomotives, Sahib, Sindh, and Sultan.
Following are the some of the important Indian Railway Facts
- The total distance covered by the 14,300 trains on the Indian Railways everyday, equals three & half times the distance to moon
- The first train on Indian soil ran between Bombay and Thane on the 16th of April 1853
- IR has about 63,028 route kms. of track
- IR employs about 1.55 million people
- It carries over 13 million passengers & 1.3 million tones of freight everyday
- It runs about 14,300 trains daily
- IR has about 7,000 railway stations
- The longest platform in the world is at Kharagpur and is 2,733 ft. in length
- Nehru Setu on Sone River is the longest Railway bridge
- 42 Railway companies operated in the country before independence
- Electric Locomotives are manufactured at Chittaranjan Locomotive Works, Chittaranjan
- Coaches are manufactured at ICF/Chennai, RCF/Kapurthala and BEML/Bangaluru
- The national Rail Museum at New Delhi was set-up in 1977
- People Employed in Indian Railway are about 1.6 million
- Stations across State Lines are Navapur (Maharashtra and Gujarat) and Bhawani Mandi (Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan)