On 16th April 1853, India’s first passenger train journey began. It started from Bori Bunder in Mumbai, all the way up to Thane. This was a distance of 32 km, wherein 3 coaches were hauled by the engine. Thus started rail transport in India.
This piece of history came to my notice not because of the local channels, but due to it being covered prominently by international websites such as Google (see their Doodle above) and the detailed article on Wikipedia.
What started off as India’s first passenger train journey, is now a multi-crore business and one of the few profitable industries run by the Government of India. Some of this credit needs to be given to Laloo of course, however what works for the railways is the availability of transport, the cost and it’s efficiency.
I recently traveled from Mumbai to Baroda in the Rajdhani express, and although the quality of food being served has declined over the past decade, the service and efficiency of things have gone up. The entire journey is orchestrated with your travel and you can even predict which course will be served to you with the station that is approaching. So all in all, I would say we have gone quite far since India’s first passenger train journey.
Kudos to the Indian Railways!