Udayavni Special

Lockdown: First time in 167 years, Railways didn’t ferry passengers on it’s b’day


PTI, Apr 17, 2020, 12:31 PM IST

New Delhi: The Indian Railways turned 167 on Thursday, April 17 but for the first time ever in its over one-and-half-century-old life, it celebrated its birthday with its trains standing idle in yards and without carrying passengers amid the nationwide lockdown.

It was on this day 167 years ago in 1853 that the first passenger train in the country had run from from Bori Bunder in Mumbai to Thane.

Indians had experienced life without trains for the first time in 1974. In May 1974, during the railways strike that lasted for around three weeks, drivers, station masters, guards, track staff and many others had gone on ‘chakka jam’, demanding fixed working hours for train drivers and an across-the-board pay hike.

“I can recall those times vividly. I remember that our leader George Fernandez had almost secured a deal with the then railway minister, but it fell through when it was taken to the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi,” All India Railwaymens Federation General Secretary Shiv Gopal Mishra, who was an apprentice in the railways at that time, told PTI.

“Fernandez was arrested in Lucknow. The workers went through a lot at that time. But those were the days when angry workers had refused to give in and took great risks to get their demands met,” he said.

Just like this time, four decades ago too, freight trains carrying essential supplies had been run and the unions had agreed to let some passenger trains run on the trunk routes like the Kalka Mail from Howrah to Delhi.

“Never ever in its history, there has been such a long interruption of services. Not during the World Wars, not during the 1974 railway strike, or any other national calamity or natural disaster,” a railway spokesperson said.

The first Indian Railways passenger train was flagged off on April 16, 1853, from Mumbai to nearby Thane. The 14-carriage train was flagged off with a 21-gun salute, which was hauled by three steam locomotives – Sindh, Sahib and Sultan, carrying 400 passengers.

On Thursday, the Railway Ministry wished the railways a happy birthday on Twitter, “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 indoors & make the nation victorious,” it said.

Railway has suspended all passenger services since March 25 till May 3 due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Around 15,523 trains run by the railways have been affected including 9,000 passenger trains and 3,000 mail express services which are run daily. It caters to over 20 million passengers every day.

Udayavani is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel and stay updated with the latest news.

Top News

Navy finds some debris of crashed MiG-29K in Arabian sea

Serum Institute rejects charges levelled by vaccine trial participant, threatens to seek damages

K’taka COVID-19 update: 1291 new cases, 1530 recoveries, 15 deaths on Nov 28

India ‘pharmacy of world,’ focusing on deeper ties in S&T: Swedish amb

PM hailing farm laws shows govt ‘drunk with power’, ‘rigid’ in face of protests: Cong

UP registers first case under anti-conversion law in Bareilly

Modi’s Hyd visit: A testimony of Telangana achievement, KCR should have been invited, says KTR



Related Articles More

K’taka COVID-19 update: 1291 new cases, 1530 recoveries, 15 deaths on Nov 28

Pandemic calls off Christmas markets in Europe

DCGI and institutional ethics committee investigating claim of adverse event in COVID vaccine trial: Officials

COVID-19 caseload in India climbs to 93,92,919

COVID-19: 1,522 new cases in Karnataka, 12 deaths

MUST WATCH

Meet the man with the largest collections of Newspapers | Umesh Rao Ekkar Mangalore

Mangalore: Woman rescues a cat from 30 feet deep well | Ranjini Shetty | Udayavani

CM and central leadership will take final call on Cabinet expansion: Ashwath Narayan

Assorted flowers, fruits, and vegetables are grown in the terrace garden

Celebrating 25 Years of Laveena Masala | Since 1996 | Udayavani

Latest Additions

Navy finds some debris of crashed MiG-29K in Arabian sea

Serum Institute rejects charges levelled by vaccine trial participant, threatens to seek damages

Will Hold Punjab CM Responsible if Farmers’ Gatherings Aggravate Covid in Haryana, Says Khattar

High Octane Campaign for Hyderabad Polls Ends; 67 Lakh Voters to Decide Fate of 1,222 Candidates on Dec 1

K’taka COVID-19 update: 1291 new cases, 1530 recoveries, 15 deaths on Nov 28

Thanks for visiting Udayavani

You seem to have an Ad Blocker on.
To continue reading, please turn it off or whitelist Udayavani.