This article deals with history of Indian and Gujarat railways. Since the origin of railway in 1853, Railway is one of the most travelling choices of people of India. It is interesting to note that railways have done progress in every decade. With the time, railways routes, railway lines from narrow gauge, metre gauge converted to broad gauge and steam engine, diesel engine replaced by electric engine. Read the following interesting history related to Gujarat railway.
History of Western Railway (WR) and Gujarat:
First ever train in India run between Bombay to Thane in 1853 and in 2nd train to run was between Howrah and Hubli in next year. After which Indian railway started journey towards one of the busiest and longest railway network in world. In 1855, the BB&CI(Bombay, Baroda and Central India) Railway was formed, with broad gauge from Ankleshwar to Utran on west coast and in 1864 it was extended to Bombay.
Before the independence of India, several princely states owned their own railways like Bhavnagar, Kathiawad, Dwarka, Gondal, Morbi and Jamnagar merged to BB&CI in 1948 and in 1949 Gaekwad's Baroda State Railway(GBSR) merged in BB&CI. And before Gujarat and Maharashtra separated from a union state to become an individual state, there were separate state owned railways but in November, 1951, Bombay, Baroda and Central India railway (BB&CI) were merged to create a Western Railway for Independent India.
Western Railway corridor which is one of the busiest rail network contains important stations like Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Surat, Bhavnagar, Rajkot, Mumbai-Mumbai central, Ratlam etc.
Important events in Gujarat Railways:
Railway history for Ahmedabad:
In 1865, Bombay-Ahmedabad rail link completed in BB&CI.
After successful completion of Bombay-Ahmedabad rail link BB&CI run direct train between Bombay to Ahmedabad in 1870 and in 1879 Palanpur to Ahmedabad Meter Gauge (MG) was inaugurated.
In 1881 Rajputana State Railway join hands with BB&CI by opening MG line for Ajmer to Ahmedabad.
Ahmedabad was one of the first stations to get freight services in 1965 along with Bangalore which linked four metropolitan centres and in 1966 first containerized freight services started between Ahmedabad to Bombay.
In 1994, WR and Gujarat introduced Royal Orient Train.
Ajmer to Ahmedabad MG line introduced in 1881, convered in Broad Gauge (BG) in 1997.
Railway history for Bhavnagar:
In 1926 Narrow Gauge (NG) lines were put between Bhavnagar to Talaja of Bhavnagar Tramways and was extended to Mahuva in 1938.
While in 1948, Bhavnagar State Railway, Kathiawar State Railway, Morbi Railway and Gondal Railway all were merged and integrated to Saurashtra State Railway.
Wadhwan/Surendranagar to Bhavnagar railway MG line was opened in 1980 by Kathiawad State Railway.
Railway history for Rajkot:
In 1890 NG lines were constructed beteween Wadhwan to Rajkot via Morbi opened and later on these lines were converted to BG in 1904.
Jamnagar princely state established Rajkot to Jamnagar MG line in year 1897.
In 1904 Surendranagar to Rajkot MG line was opened
Morbi Railway converted MG line of Rajkot to Morbi to BG in 1924.
Railway history for Baroda:
In 1855 BB&CI Railway was established and initially worked on a Surat to Baroda corridor.
BB&CI Railway completed Surat to Ahmedabad via Baroda line.
In 1908 Baroda to Mathura line was opened by BB&CI Railway.
Railway history for Surat:
Surat was ingetral part of Baroda to Ahmedabad line since establishedment of BB&CI in 1855.
The Flying Ranee train was introduced between Surat to Bombay in 1937.