12th April 1867 was the landmark day when the first local train service of Western railway was introduced between Virar & Backbay, run by Bombay Baroda and Central Indian (BB&CI) railway company. Backbay railway station was located between the station of Churchgate and Marine lines.
Above photo: Backbay railway station
Interesting facts old Western railway local train service:
- On 12th April 1867, one train ran in each direction having 4 boggies.
- From 1870 onwards the train service was increased to 5 trains a day each way.
- Later the train services were restricted to a single round trip. Departure from Viraur (now Virar) at 06:45 am and back journey from Backbay at 05:30 pm.
- Following were the stations where train halted: Neela or (Nalasopara), Bassein (Vasai), Panjo (between two creeks of Vasai), Berewla (Borivali), Pahadee (Goregoan), Andaru (Andheri), Santa Cruz, Bandora (Bandra), Mahim, Dadure (Dadar), and Grant Road.
- The time took to travel between Virar and Backbay was less than the Churchgate-Virar local takes today, since there weren’t few stations in between.
Old Virar station
- On June 10, 1869 monthly and quarterly season tickets were introduced on the BB&CI Railway upto Bandra for Ist and IInd class commuters.
- The fare of first local train service: Second class was 7 pies per mile, Third-class fare 3 pies. (16 pies made an anna, and 16 annas made a rupee.)
- The train had 3 classes, an exclusive coach for women in 2nd class section and separate smoking zone.
Below are some of the important milestones of Western Railway:
- 12 April 1867: The BB&CI commences daily service between Virar and Backbay
- 1870: Churchgate station opened
- 1873: Colaba Terminus commissioned
- 5 January 1928: First electric train runs between Colaba & Borivili
- 1930: Colaba station closed
- 1936: Steam engines are withdrawn from service; Borivili–Virar section electrified
- 2 March 1961: Introduction of 9-car trains
- 1972: Total number of services crosses the 500 mark
- 1986: Introduction of 12-car trains
- 1992: Introduction of special trains for ladies and reserved seating for seniors
- 1993: Introduction of special handicapped compartment
- 2003: Total number of services crosses the 1,000 mark
- 2007: Indian Railways’ first ATVMs introduced on WR; DC-AC conversion of Borivili–Virar section completed
- 21 November 2009 : Introduction of 15-car rakes
- November 2011: DC-AC conversion of Borivili–Vile Parle section complete
- 5 February 2012 : Conversion from DC to AC traction completed
- 16 April 2013 : Extension of line from Virar to Dahanu Road
- 27 November 2016 : 37th station, Ram Mandir railway station at Oshiwara was opened between Goregaon and Jogeshwari station.