The Central Railway (CR), the successor to the Great Indian Peninsula Railway (GIPR), on Thursday completed 70 years of its formation.
Anil Kumar Lahoti, the general manager of the CR, greeted the employees as well as passengers on the eve of its 71st Foundation Day, said an official release.
“The CR is committed to provide safe and punctual service to its passengers and customers in the years to come,” he said.
The CR, headquartered in Mumbai, was formed on November 5, 1951 by integrating the Nizam State, Scindia State and Dholpur State Railways with the GIPR.
The first train in India (and Asia) which ran between Mumbai and Thane on Saturday, April 16, 1853 was a GIPR train.
“With the merger of the Indian Midland Railway Company with the GIPR Company in 1900, its frontiers were extended from Delhi in the North, Kanpur and Allahabad in the North-east and Nagpur in the East to Raichur in the South-east,” the CR release said.
The network soon expanded to all parts of the country, connecting them to Mumbai. At the time of the formation of the CR, its `route mileage’ was 2,575 km.
Presently, there are five divisions of the CR: Mumbai, Bhusaval, Nagpur, Solapur and Pune. Its network is spread over 4,151 route km in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka, and has a total of 471 stations.
The first Shatabdi Express, Jan Shatabdi Express, Tejas Express and Kisan Rail were started by the CR. The Kisan Rail was started last year.
During its formation year, the CR carried 16.56 million tonnes of originating loading (freight), which has now increased to 62.02 million tonnes.
Its suburban services have increased from 519 in 1951 to 1814 in 2021. They form a crucial part of the public transport system in Mumbai.
“Mumbai’s suburban services are the lifeline of Mumbai. Central Railway has steadily increased the suburban network and today it has four corridors,” the release noted.
The earliest suburban trains had only three coaches. The number gradually increased to nine, 12 coaches and now some trains have 15 coaches.
The CR has now also introduced air-conditioned local trains in Mumbai.
It also faced adversities during its seven-decade-long journey. During the 2008 Mumbai terror attack, the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT), its headquarters, was one of the places attacked by the Pakistani terrorists.
“Be it the heavy rains, 26/11 terror attack or the grave challenge of COVID-19, our dedicated personnel have worked hard to face and overcome these challenges,” the release stated.