Indian Railways Observed its 167th anniversary with no passenger trains on its tracks

At 3.35pm on April 16, 1853 amid a 21-gun salute, three locomotives – Sahib, Sindh and Sultan – chugged off on their maiden trip pulling 14 carriages and ferrying 400 guests from Bori Bunder (now Mumbai) to Thane becoming the first passenger train run by the Central Railways, then known as the Great Indian Peninsula Railway.

The three locomotives covered 34 km scripting history on the day that the Indian Railways celebrates its anniversary. One hundred sixty seven years later, the national carrier has come to a standstill with no passenger trains plying on its network since 25 days for the first time in its history, thanks to the lockdown to check the spread of coronavirus.

“Today, 167 years ago with the zeal of ‘never to stop’, the wheels of the first passenger train from Mumbai to Thane started rolling. For the first time, passenger services are stopped for your safety stay indoor and make the nation victorious,” the ministry of railways tweeted.

The mammoth rail network of India that runs nearly 14, 000 passenger trains ferrying 23 million passengers daily is not celebrating its ‘rail day’ as it would, perhaps, the first time in its history.

For now, the national carrier has suspended all train operations till May 3, nor is it taking advance bookings anymore. Passengers will have to wait a while to board a train again and transport, when it resumes, might not be the same anymore.

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