160 years ago, on this very day, India's first passenger train, took off on it's first journey. Celebrating the auspicious moment, Google today for India has posted a doodle marking the event.
On April 16, 1853, the first passenger train began it's journey from Bori Bunder, Bombay to Thane, covering a a distance of 34 kilometres. It was hauled by three locomotives, Sahib, Sindh, and Sultan.
A plan for a rail system in India was first put forth in 1832. 4 years latter, the first rail line was laid down near Chintadripet Bridge in Madras Presidency. The real breakthrough came when two new railway companies, Great Indian Peninsular Railway (GIPR) and East Indian Railway (EIR), were formed in 1853-54, to construct and operate two experimental lines near Mumbai and Kolkata.
Although, the first train in India became operational on 22 December 1851, it only was used for localized hauling of canal construction material in Roorkee. However two years later on 16 April 1853, the first passenger train service was inaugurated and today happens to be the 160th anniversary of the event.
India Railway system came a long way from it's initial days, as the economy of the country began to improve. By 1985, steam locomotives gave way to faster and more efficient diesel and electric locomotives.
On 16th August 2009 Indian Railways celebrated its 155th anniversary, by running a 60 years old steam engine. The special heritage train ran between Howrah & Bandel, bringing back the nostalgic sound of a steam engine.