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.
The project was undertaken by Great Indian Peninsula (GIP) Railway company. The test run was done on 18th November 1852. The train service was made open to people after two days on 18th April.
Note: The above image doesn’t depict the actual train
Here are the – Facts About First Train in Mumbai:
- India’s first railway engine, built by Vulcon Foundary in England, which arrived in Mumbai, was named “Falkland” after lord Falkland, the Governor.
- The idea of laying railway line between Mumbai & Thane and thereafter upto Kalyan and Bhor Ghat was conceived by George Clark in 1843. He was the Chief Engineer of the Government of Mumbai.
- Sir Jamsetjee Jeejeebhoy, Nana Shankarseth were the part of the committee and gave concrete shape to the plan.
- 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.
- At Sion, the train made a 15 minutes halt for watering the engines and oiling the new wheels. It finally arrived at Thane which stretched for 24 miles, after 55 minutes, travelling at a speed of 35 mph, to a great welcome from the crowds gathered there. While returning from Thane to Bori Bunder it took only 40 minutes and reached by 7 p.m.
- The fares from Mumbai to Thane in 1853 were Re. 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.
- The project was implemented in the collaboration with Great Indian Peninsula (GIP) Railway Company in England and the East India Company.
- Nana Shankarseth, Sir Jamsetjee Jeejeebhoy and other prominent local leaders were included in the planning committee.
- 10,000 men worked on the project and 10,000 pounds had spent to lay the railway line.
- Public holiday was announced and hundreds of people gathered for the inauguration.