Mumbai: at Least 3 Local Train Services Still Run on Vintage Time

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One acts as the pilot train for the iconic Mumbai-Pune Deccan Queen Express

A new study by the Central Railway Mumbai division, where it all began with the first Mumbai-Thane train starting operations in 1853, has revealed that at least three local trains running today follow the same timetable as followed by the old Great Indian Peninsula Railway (GIPR)—Asia’s pioneering railway company which eventually became Central Railway (CR).

The first train in Asia ran from Bombay to Thana (Thane) on Saturday, April 16, 1853, starting its journey at 3.35 pm. Today, a train runs along the route at more or less the same time (3.28 pm), keeping alive the memory and legacy of the day when railways first arrived in India. 

“Two other local trains that still follow the GIPR timetable are the 1.40 pm Karjat local and the 5 pm Ambernath local. There is a unique thing about both these trains. Old timers in the operations department tell us that the 1.40 pm Karjat local has been running since the steam days, when they would attach steam engines on either end of the train. The local train, now electric, still runs at the same time,” CR’s chief public relations officer, Shivaji Sutar said.

According to Sutar, the 5 pm CSMT-Ambernath local has also been running since the GIPR days. “The train acts as a sort of a pilot train to the iconic Mumbai-Pune Deccan Queen Express as it runs about ten minutes ahead, thus clearing the path,” he said, adding that the semi-fast service is now an AC local, halting at limited stations till Thane. The Indian Railways completes its 170th year on April 16.

Source: Mid Day