April 10, 2002




    16th April, 2002 marks a historical moment of the Indian Railways as it was on the same day in 1853 that the first train ran on Indian soil from Boribunder (Now Mumbai CST) to Thane. Since then there has been no looking back. Starting from a stretch of only 31 kilometres the rail network is now extended to over 63000 route kilometres connecting the nook and corner of the country from East to West and North to South. The earlier steam era has given way to faster electric and diesel traction modes. The open trolley type of 3rd class wooden bogies are in the pages of history. Even the lowest class railways compartment now provides reasonably comfortable sitting environs of modern coaches complete with water and lavatory facilities, sleeper cars on long distance trains and a variety of air-conditioned and non-air-conditioned services to suit every pocket. There are premium world class trains as well like Palace on Wheels, Royal Orient, Fairy Queen for the choosy tourist segment including the foreigners. Today with a staff strength of over 15 lakhs, running of approx. 14,000 trains carrying over 13 lakh tonnes of goods traffic and ferrying around 13 million passengers per day, the Indian Railways are one of the largest organizations of the world.

    Another important feature of Indian Railways is the technological self-sufficiency. Right from the rails to coaches and locomotives – every thing is being manufactured within the country. With the technology transfer agreements finalised in the last few years the country is now one of the few in the world to manufacture state of art 4000 Horse Power diesel and 6000 Horse Power electric locomotives. The commencement of the production of the Alstom coaches is going to redefine the passenger comfort on the Indian Railways. The new improved design of goods wagons capable of running at a speed of 100 kilometre per hour is soon going to bring revolutionary changes in the goods traffic sector. To top it all the Anti-Collision Device (ACD) developed by the Konkan Railways has won appreciation from all corners and its deployment will not only ensure better safety but also revolutionise the railway operations ensuring greater line capacity utilisation and smoother movements.

    Needless to say, therefore, that the beginning of 150th year is an occasion to rejoice and to share the pride with all segments of rail-users all over the country and abroad. This is important because the Indian Railways have not merely been a transport organization but the very embodiment of the unity and integrity of the Nation, industrial and economic development of the country with a close emotional bond with the passengers who use the Railways every day for meeting their far flung friends and relatives and also for conducting their business and livelihood. Railways are truly the life-line of the country.

    It is, therefore, in the fitness of the things that the year long celebrations comprise basically of three segments:

  1. Fanfare and festive mood and bringing to the fore the rich heritage of Indian Railways.
  2. A commitment towards better passenger services by declaring the 150th year as a ‘Passenger Amenities Year’ and
  3. A Commitment for widening and expanding the rail network by various innovative measures including joint ventures with State Governments and other parties, large scale renewal of over-aged assets including tracks, bridges and signal equipment. All this in ambit of drawing a long term route-map for making Railways a forward looking organisation trying to meet the challenges of a vibrant economy and to serve the people of this great democracy by providing efficient transportation service at affordable price.



    The year long calendar of events for the 150th year celebrations is therefore marked with a variety of events of various shades and colours.

15/4/02 Inaugural

    On the eve of the 150th year i.e on 15th April, 2002 the celebrations will begin with a grand and colourful function amidst the nostalgic environs of the National Rail Museum with the Prime Minister Shri Atal Behari Vajpayee as the Chief Guest. The Prime Minister will release the ‘Mascot’ and ‘Logo’ specially designed by the National Institute of Design for the celebrations. The ‘Mascot’ and ‘Logo’ will not only be displayed on all trains, stations, PRS tickets, travel vouchers, catering items but also on other Government installations and stationery to enliven the close emotional bonds that the Railways share with the common masses.

16/4/02 History To Be Recreated

    History will be recreated at Mumbai Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus with a special commemorative ‘Steam-run’ between Mumbai and Thane of a vintage train depicting the glittering past and present of Indian Railways. The train on the pattern of the original first run, with almost the same level of coaches/passengers/invitees will be flagged off by the Hon’ble Governor of Maharashtra and the Minister of Railways. Subsequently, similar commemorative runs will also be organised at different zonal railways coinciding their respective days of the first railway runs in their areas.

    In the morning, the first of the 16 Jan Shatabdi trains, to be specially launched in the 150th year, from Mumbai to Madgaon (Goa) will be flagged off by the Minister of Railways.

    The day will also mark the release of a commemorative stamp to be released by Hon’ble Minister of Communications and IT at Mumbai CST.

    All Zonal Railways will also have a week long contour illumination at all heritage Headquarters/Division and Stations during the Railway Week Celebrations from 10th to 16th April, 2002 and 2003.

    All Zonal Railways will also organise special functions to honour the oldest living employees in their respective areas.

Exhibition on wheels :

    The exhibition train will leave Delhi on 15th August, 2002 on a country-wide tour and will halt at 49 important stations including state capitals. Zonal Railways will organise Photo Exhibition at Division/Zonal Training Centres.

Other Important Programmes

Year of Passenger Amenities & Promotion of Rail Tourism