India’s first train run took place 164 years ago..

On April 16, 1853, India’s first train ran from Bombay (now Mumbai) to Thane for around 34 kilometres.

Scenes from Kurla: Passengers waiting at Kurla station in 1925
Bridge over Thane creek a year later after the first train ride in 1853, Mumbai witnessed another first — the first Indian railway bridge, which was completed in 1854 over Thane Creek. Pics courtesy/Central Railway archives

Here are some points you must know:

  • 14 carriages, carrying around 400 passengers, left Bori Bunder (now Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminal) at 3:30 pm
  • There was a 21-gun salute when the train was flagged off
  • All 400 guests came invited. The native lords came from all over India to be a witness to the inauguration ceremony
  • The Great Indian Peninsula Railway was formed subsequently
  • Not many know but in November 1852, a trial run also took place but it was done with a shunting locomotive instead of a rail engine.

The Indian Railways has grown to be the biggest government entity in India ever since. After 164 years of the first train run, India is all set to get a superfast bullet train pretty soon.

To revisit the history of Indian Railways, visit the Heritage Wing located inside Central Railway headquarters at CST. The archive houses miniature models as well as memorabilia such as gadgets used in the trains of yesteryear. The visit also includes a tour inside the heritage structure.