Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The terminal end of platform 2 at w:Mumbai CST...Image via Wikipedia
It all began one fine summer day on 16 April 1853. It was a single step of 34 kilometers from "Boree Bunder" (now Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus) to "Tannah" (now Thane). G.I.P. Railway’s first train ever to run on the Indian soil rolled out and changed the history of India, forever. It also marked the dawn of the Railway Age in Asia - the world's largest continent.
The railway line was extended from Thane to Kalyan (20 kilometers) after about a year. From Kalyan, the railway line branched into two directions, viz. the North Eastern line leading towards Igatpuri and Bhusaval and the South Eastern line towards Pune and Solapur. It took 7 to 9 years to construct the lines through the two ghat sections (Bhor and Thull). The mountain barriers, which those lines surmounted, had only one parallel at that time in the history of railway construction - the Semmering Pass in the Austrian Alps.  The period 1861 to 1870 was very important for the G.I.P. Railway, because during this period, the fast growing industrial town of Mumbai was linked with Calcutta, the imperial capital of India. During the same decade, Bombay (now Mumbai) was linked with Madras (now Chennai) as also with Nagpur.
Railways soon made rapid progress and put India on the world map of rail networks. Following on the footsteps of Great Indian Peninsula Railway and East India Railway, other railway companies were set-up: Bombay, Baroda & Central India Railway (BB&CI), Madras Railway and many others. Then came a time when there were as many as 42 railway companies. After mergers it came down to 25. Later, after independence, in 1951 these 25 railways were regrouped into 9 zonal railways.  Central Railway has since then grown manifold and till 2003 was a vast network of 7151 route kilometers and 10896 track kilometers connecting 812 stations.
From 1.4.2003, after the reorganization of zonal railways, Central Railway is a network of 3832 route kilometres and 5818 track kilometres connecting 476 stations over 5 divisions spanning across the states of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, and Karnataka plays a key role in the progress of the nation as a carrier of passenger and freight traffic.
Central Railway is the premier passenger carrying system amongst all Indian Railways.  It carries over 4 lakh passengers daily to every nook and corner of the country through about 548 mail/express/passenger trains.  Mumbai suburban train system is the lifeline of this metropolis where 3 million commuters travel every day in 1236 local trains serving 73 stations. Central Railway also runs 40 suburban services on Pune-Lonavla section.
States served with RKMs
StateState Languages Route Kms
Maharashtra Marathi/Hindi       3350.50
Madhya Pradesh Hindi         394.42
Karnataka Kannada/Hindi/Telugu           87.26
  Total (as on 1.4.2006)     3832.18
Industries Served Steel Plants, Cement factories, Fertilizer factories, Refineries and Washeries etc. Agriculture & Mineral Wealth Food grains, Salt, Fertilizers, Petroleum Agricultural products and Agro industries. Major Originating Traffic:
Commodity 2005-06 2006-07
Coal, Cement, Food Grains, Fertilizers, Petroleum and General Goods
37.78 Million Tonne
43.12 Million Tonne
Loco Workshop, Parel.
Carriage & Wagon Workshop, Matunga
Mechanical Workshop (NG), Kurduwadi
Tank Wagon Workshop, Kurla
Electrical Loco Workshop, Bhusaval
Traction Machine Workshop, Nasik Road
Central Engineering Workshop, Manmad
Signal & Telecommunication Workshop, Byculla.

Did you know: Lord Dalhousie, an British Governor-General was responsible for the introduction of Railways in India. 
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