An exhibition to commemorate the 160 years of history was inaugurated at the Central Railway Station by P K Misra, Divisional Railway Manager, Southern Railways, here on Wednesday. The exhibition is on till March 28, and is open to the public.
On 16 April, 1953, the first journey on a steam engine driven train commenced from Mumbai to Thane. This first passenger train with 14 coaches travelling a distance of 34 kilometres marked the beginning of a heritage that would grow to become one of the the defining points of India itself, the Indian Railways.
After 160 years the Indian Railways now operates over 11 thousand trains every day travelling a distance equal to three times that of a journey to the moon from the earth and back, and catering to a population of 2.2 crore, which is greater than the populations of Norway, Sweden and Denmark put together. It is now the fourth largest railway network in the world, having tracks that span a length of 63,940 kilometres, covering all the places in India from Srinagar in Jammu and Kashmir to Kanyakumari at the Southern tip, all under one managing authority. The main tracks connecting the four metros – Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata – known as the Gold Square, constitute only 16 per cent of the network but serves over 50 per cent of passengers and goods transport.
The Indian Railways is one of the top employers in the world boasting a strength of over 14 lakh employees who benefit from medical, housing, pension and education schemes. With the growth in economy, the Indian Railways has also developed to modernise facilties and increase the length and number of passengers on each train. Today, a train could have up to 24 coaches extending to half a kilometre and carry up to 1,500 passengers. A journey through the rail network could give one a glimpse of hundreds of languages and thousands of traditional delicacies.
The Indian Railways has been instrumental in the railway growth of countries like Tanzania, Iraq, Columbia and Mozambique. It manufactures and exports coaches to Thailand, Myanmar, Taiwan, Philippines, Tanzania, Uganda, Vietnam, Nigeria and Bangladesh.
Source..new indian express