Chennai: Inaugurating the 64th Railway Week Celebration at Integral Coach Factory on Tuesday, Governor Banwarilal Purohit said that the nation is proud of the Indian Railways. While addressing the meeting, Mr Purohit said that the Railway Week is celebrated every year in commemoration of the historical commencement of railway services 166 years ago on April 16, between Borbandar and Thane. "Indian Railways happens to be the fourth largest railway network in the world and probably the largest railway system in the world under single management," he said.
Railwaymen run more than 9,200 freight trains and 20,000 passenger trains daily, on both long distance and suburban routes, from 7349 stations across the country.
"Last year alone, the railways have served as the means of transportation for about 826 crore passengers and 116 crore tonnes of freight, handled with an enviable operation ratio of 98.4 percent and annual revenue of about 1.79 lakh crores. Hence, there is no doubt that the Indian Railways is a proud asset of the Central Government and the nation," he added.
Mr Purohit further said that the Indian Railways has an interesting history of evolution, and added that Madras(now Chennai) was where the first proposal for the establishment of the Indian Railways was made.
"The country's first train - Red Hills Railways - was operated from Red Hills to the Chintadaripet Bridge in 1837. Subsequently, the first passenger train, hauled by three steam locomotives - Sahib, Sindh, and Sultan - ran with 400 people housed in 14 carriages on a broad gauge between Bori Bunder(Mumbai) and Thane, covering a distance of 34 km on 16th April 1853," he said.
"The Central Railway Station, now renamed as Puractch Thalaivar Dr M. G. Ramachandran Central Railway Station, was established in 1873, and the Secundrabad Railway station was established in 1874. The first electric passenger train was inaugurated in 1925 between Victoria Terminus and Kurla. Since then, the Indian Railways has made rapid progress and has now become the fourth largest railway network in the world," he added.
A large number of people, including employees of Railways and the ICF, took part in the program....