Indian Railway turns 166 today! From the invention of wheels to James Watt’s observation of steam rising from the boiling tea kettle that is believed to be the beginning of a lifelong fascination with steam to the invention of the first practical steam engine, railways are unquestionably one of the greatest gifts in the mode of transportation for humanity and possibly to the Indian soil.
Celebrating the 166th years of Indian Railways, we look back at the birth of it all and how it eventually rose to become the one of the biggest systems of a gift we as Indians can proudly boast off of:
It was on this day, the 16 April 1853, the first passenger train ran from Bombay to Thane for around 34 kilometres with just 14 railway carriages, carrying around 400 guests.
The 14-carriage train ran for 34 kilometres started from now Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminal with 400 passengers on board hauled by three engines named Sahib, Sindh, and Sultan.
The passenger line was then built and operated by the Great Indian Peninsula Railway (GIPR) in 1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in) broad gauge that will soon become the country's standard for railways.
After 165 years, Indian Railways now takes pride as the largest railways network to be operated by a single government, the world’s third largest network with a total length of 127,760 kms also having the world’s highest rail bridge over Chenab at a height of 359 m (1,178 ft).