Indian Rail: The History

The novel plan for the introduction of a rail system, transformed the whole history of India. This innovative plan was first proposed in 1832; however no auxiliary actions were taken for over a decade. In the year 1844, private entrepreneurs were allowed to launch a rail system by Lord Hardinge, the Governor-General of India. By the year 1845, two companies were formed and the East India Company was requested to support them in the matter. On 22nd Dec' 1851, the first train came on the track to carry the construction material at Roorkee in India. With a passage of one and a half years, the first passenger train service was introduced between Bori Bunder, Bombay and Thane on the providential date 16th Apr' 1853. This rail track covered a distance of 34 kms (21 miles). Ever since its origin, the rail service in India never turned back. In 1880, the rail network acquired a route mileage of about 14,500 km (9,000 miles), mostly working through Bombay, Madras and Calcutta (three major port cities). By 1895, India had started manufacturing its own locomotives. In no time, different kingdoms assembled their independent rail systems and the network extended to the regions including Assam, Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh. In 1901, a Railway Board was formed though the administrative power was reserved for the Viceroy, Lord Curzon. In 1907, most of the rail companies were came under the government control. Subsequently, the first electric locomotive emerged in the next year. In 1920, the Government captured the administration of the Railways. On the occasion of India's Independence in 1947, 42 independent railway systems with 32 lines were merged in a single unit and were acknowledged as Indian Railways and 6 zones were formed in 1952. With 1985, the diesel and electric locomotives took the place of steam locomotives. In 1995, the whole railway reservation system was rationalized with computerization.