The Darjeeling Railway
1800: The Darjeeling Steam Tramway (DST) begins operations on Siliguri-Darjeeling section.
1881: DST becomes Darjeeling Himalayan Railays (DHR).
1915: DHR opens two new branches to Kishengunj and Teesta Valley
1948: DHR is taken over by the State and it became a world heritage site on December 2, 1999.
May 2000: Diesel hauling of DHR inaugurated.
Running the Railways
1849: Great Indian Peninsular Railway (GIPR) incorporated. A `guarantee system` that assured 5 per cent returns to all British railway companies in India established.
1853: Railways begin in India with private funds and government support.
1868: Calcutta and South Eastern (CSER) suffers flood losses, transfers all lines to government in return for capital costs, becoming the first state owned railways.
1882: Almost 75 railway operations, owned by the private sector and princely states and a variety of track gauges. Post of Director General of Railways (DGR) is created in the Central Public Works Dept (CPD) to coordinate the network.
1889: States takes over Nizam Railways.
1900: GIPR taken over by state.
1901: Based on the recommendations of Sir Thomas Robertson Committee, a Railway Board is set up with three members.
1904: More members included in the Board.
1905: Powers and structure of Railway Board are formalised. It is now under Dept of Commerce and Industry with an independent Chairman.
1907: Govt purchases all major lines and re-leases them to pvt operators
1920: Based on Acworth Committee recommendations govt takes over actual management of all railways and separates railway finances from general finances. This practice is followed even today.
1922: Retrenchment Committee under Lord Inchcape recommends drastic cuts in workforce and expenses.
1922: Railway Board reorganised, overriding powers given to Chief Commissioner railways.
1924: Railway finances separated from general govt budget.
1925: First Railway Budget presented.
1925:EIR Co and GIPR, the largest networks, taken over the state.
1937: The post of Minister for Transport and Communication created. The minister was a civil servant and dealt with the Railway Board.
1951: Zonal grouping of Railways begins.
August 16, 1853, 3:35 pm: 21 gun salute launches first passenger train in India, by Great Indian Peninsular Railway from Bori Bunder to Thane -- 400 passengers, 14 carriages, three engines, Sindh, Sultan and Sahib. Journey time: 1 hour 15 minutes.
August 15, 1854: First train in east India, Howrah to Hoogly.
July 1, 1856: First train in south India, Veyasarapdy (Madras) to Wallajah Road (Arcot).
March 6, 1859: First train in north India, Allahabad to Kanpur
1862: First princely state-owned line, Dabhol to Miyagam in Baroda. Train pulled by oxen. Later became Baroda State Railways.
August 1, 1864: First train arrives in Delhi from Calcutta, ferried on boats across Ganga in Allahabad
1867: First suburban service begins from Virar to Bombay Backbay.
1873: World`s first metre gauge service begins, Delhi to Rewari.
Half Ticket, Full Service1862: 2-tier seating started in III classes.
1871-74: Gas lamps introduced in many passenger carriages.
1872: Air-cooling introduced in I class coaches on GIPR lines.
1874: IV class introduced; coaches with no seats.
1888: AH Wheeler and Co introduces Railway Library series publications.
1905: Lavatories provided in all lower class carriages.
1936: Air conditioning introduced in coaches.
1952: Fans and light mandated for passenger coaches.
1956: III class passengers allowed use of dining car.
1967: II class sleeper coaches for long distance trains.
1974: III class abolished.
1986: Computerised reservation started at Delhi.
Going Loco 1893: First railway foundry set up at Jamalpur.
1895: First locomotive built with old parts at Ajmer workshop.
1899: `Lady Curzon`, first locomotive built in India, at Ajmer.
January 26, 1950: Chittaranjan Loco Works (CLW) set up. Builds first steam engine, `Deshbandhu`.
1952: TELCO begins productions of YG locos.
1959: First steam loco designed by CLW.
1961: Diesel Loco Works, Varansi established.
What`s in a Name?January 1, 1882: GIPR station opened to public in Bombay.
1887: Station named Victoria Terminus (VT) after Queen Victoria on her jubliee year.
May 4, 1996: VT renamed Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus.
IB, near on South Eastern Railway is the shortest station name.
Venkatanarasimharajuvariapeta on Southern Railways is the longest station name.
Total length of rail tracks: 62, 759 km.
Electrification of tracks: 14, 261 km.
Total number of engines: 7, 517.
Total number of bogies: 2, 44, 419.
Passengers travelling annually: 458 crores.
Total number of workers1950-51: 9, 13, 600
1970-71: 13, 74, 200
1980-81: 15, 72, 200
1990-91: 16, 51, 800
1999-00: 15, 77, 200