The inauguration of 21-mile long railway line took place on Saturday 16th April 1853 from Mumbai to Thane. First train in India and even in Asia, with 14 carriages and carrying 500 enchanted guests steamed out of Bori Bunder, pulled by two black monster-like engines at 3.30 p.m.
India’s first railway engine, built by Vulcon Foundary in England, which arrived in Mumbai, was named “Falkland” after lord Falkland, the Governor.
At Sion, the train made a 15 minutes halt for watering the engines and oiling the new wheels. It finally arrived at Thane after 55 minutes, travelling at a speed of 35 mph, to a tulmultuous welcome from the crowds gathered there.
Mumbai had the distinction of flagging off Asia’s first railway train. It led to the development of rail links with the rest of the country and made the city the hub of the nation’s commercial life.
The fares from Mumbai to Thane in 1853 were Rs. 2 and annas 10 for the first class, Re. 1 and anna 1 for the second class and annas 5 and 3 pice for the third class. Third class fare was about 3 pies per mile.