September 20, 2010

HISTORY OF RAILWAYS FROM BOMBAY TO REST OF INDIA

By Dr Ardeshir B. Damania
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FRAMJI CAWASJI BANAJI, a Parsi sethia, was a great adventurer. Among his several enterprises he put up capital, with a few Europeans, in the establishment of the “Great Eastern Peninsula Railway”, which was the first enterprise of its kind in Bombay. However, when the track-laying ran in to trouble in 1844 because of the steep western ghats, many of the financial backers abandoned Seth Framji. Nevertheless, he with the English engineer Mr. Clarke continue to run the company till it went bankrupt and had to be dissolved. The scheme was later taken up in England and the “Great Indian Peninsula (GIP) Railway” company was formed on paper at least in 1845.
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To the accompaniment of a 21-gun salute from the guns at nearby Fort George, “God Save The King” played by the Governor’s Band, and a loud applause from the crowd, the first train in India (and entire Asia for that matter) left Bombay's Victoria Terminus at Bori Bunder on April 16, 1853 at 15.30 hrs for Thana (a distance of 21 miles or 33.81 Km). This train was not open to the public. The passengers were 400 invited VIP guests. The guests included the wife of the Governor of Bombay, Lady Falkland, Jagannath Shankar Shett, Sir Jamshedji Jeejeebhoy, and other dignitaries. The train, consisting of 14 carriages, was drawn by three steam locomotives: ‘Sultan’, ‘Sindh’, and ‘Sahib’ and took about 45 mins to reach its destination, halting at Byculla, Sion and Bhandup. It has been a mystery as to why Lord Falkland did not attend the ceremonies and instead took to the hills. Regular train service between Bombay and Thana was opened to the public two days later, from April 18, 1853 with two trains running each way daily, i.e., one in the morning and another in the evening. The Victoria Terminus building as we see today came later. Its construction began in May 1878 and was completed in May 1888. A plaque on its completion was placed on the building. This was the beginning of the GIP railway.
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On the western side of Bombay twice daily service was provided from the same date up to Mahim station from Bombay's Victoria Terminus with the bifurcation taking place at Dadar Junction. The first stations to be opened on this line were Byculla, Sion, Bhandup, Thana and Mahim, in addition to the Victoria Terminus.
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Lord Elphinstone, the next Governor of Bombay (1819-1827), later extended the Bombay-Thana line up to Kalyan on May 1, 1854, and further extension up to Vasind in on the Northeastern side was completed on October 1, 1855. On November 1, 1856 stations at Dadar, Kurla, Titwala, Vasind, Badlapur, and Neral were opened. The line was further extended from Kalyan up to Palasdhari on the Southeastern side on May 12, 1856. The Palasdhari-Khopoli line was also completed in 1856 (Khopoli gaining importance because of the construction of a hydro-electric power generation station which was to play a crucial role in supplying power for the electrification of the Bombay to Poona line in 1927). By 1857 regular train service was operating (steam locomotives) between Bombay's Victoria Terminus and Mahim, Vasind, and Khopoli. In 1864 the first long-distance inter-city train commenced service between Bombay and Surat, the two trading centers of the British; the former emerging as a new financial and business powerhouse, and the latter fading.
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In 1863, Sir Bartle Frere, Governor of Bombay, opened the railway over the Bhor ghat connecting Bombay to the Deccan Plateau. Many natives believed that the steep ghats could never be traversed by a railway, but a British engineer named Berkeley. The GIP railway quarters at Byculla were named after him as Berkeley Place.
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In the mid 1870s the Bombay, Baroda & Central India (BB&CI) railway extended its service up to Colaba station where considerable cotton trading activity was taking place. However, with the shifting of the cotton market to Sewri in 1924 the importance of Colaba as a railway station decreased. The last train left Colaba station of 31 December 1930, and the new terminal of the BB&CI railway for long distance trains at Bombay Central was completed in the same year. The old Gothic style station at Colaba was demolished and the station Cotton Green at Sewri on the Harbour Line took its place. The trading building at Cotton Green is still standing with a much-weathered look compared to its former glory.
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The railway tracks of the GIP and BB&CI railways literally cut Bombay city in to segments. Level crossings at important thoroughfares made it difficult for people and vehicles to pass as the gates had to be shut when trains were passing by. Hence a number of bridges were built over the railway tracks to provide easy access from one section to another. The Frere Bridge and Kennedy Bridge, respectively, that carry Grant Road and Girgaum Back Road over the BB&CI tracks were completed in 1866. The French Bridge at Opera House connected Chowpattyy with central Bombay and was completed in the early 1900s. The Wodehouse Bridge at Colaba was completed in 1875 but no longer exists. The Bellasis Bridge at Bombay Central and the Falkland Bridge were also laid in 1875. The Carnac Bridge over the GIP line was built the following year in 1868. The Elphinstone Bridge at Wadi Bunder connected Chinch Bunder to the docks area. The Byculla Bridge over the GIP lines was built in 1885.
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On the eastern side of India, the first passenger train steamed out of Howrah station destined for Hoogly (24 miles) on 15th August 1854 operated by the East India Railway (EIR). Two services were operated daily; one in the morning and another in the evening. The train made stops at Bally, Srirampore, and Chandernagore (a French colony at that time). The fare was Rs.3 first class and 7 annas by third class. The main ticket booking office was on the Calcutta bank of the river, at the Armenian ghat, and the train fare covered the trip by ferry to the station on the other side of the river to the Howrah end. A tin shed and a single line flanked by two narrow platforms served as a station. The present Howrah station building was constructed between 1901 and 1906.
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Next came the trains in south India, with the first line being opened on 1st July 1856 by the Madras Railway Company. It ran between Veyasarpandy and Walajah Road (Arcot), a distance of 63 miles.
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In the north, a length of 119 miles of tracks was laid from Allahabad to Cawnpore (Kanpur) on 3rd March 1859. The first passenger train ran from Hathras Road to Mathura Cantonment on 19th October, 1875.
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The steam locomotives to haul trains in India at that time were all imported from England. Later some were assembled in India using imported spare parts. The first totally Indian-made locomotive was the F-734 that was built in 1895 by the Ajmer workshop of the Rajputana Malwa Railway. By 1880 the Indian Railway system had a total route mileage of about 9000 miles.
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On the GIP side the two mountainous or ghat sections at Bhor Ghat and Thal Ghat were very steep and an elaborate method of “reversing” maneuvers had to be adopted because of steam traction which was un suited to hauling trains over steep inclines. Thus, when trains became longer and the load increased, it was time to bring in electric traction. The electric era was ushered in phases:
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1925 – Bombay to Kurla section of the GIP – 9.5 miles
1928 – Bombay to Borvili, BB&CI – 22.5 miles
1929 – Bombay to Kalyan, GIP, - 33 miles
1929-1930 – Kalyan to Igatpuri, GIP, - 52 miles
1929-1930 – Kalyan to Poona – 86 miles (incl. Ghat section)
1930 – Madras beach to Tambaram, Madras Railay Co., meter gauge – 18 miles
1936 – Borivli to Virar, BB&CI – 16.5 miles.
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Today, steam locomotion has almost disappeared and considerable lengths of tracks have been electrified. Diesel locomotives are also being used extensively on Indian railways. All these locomotives are made in India.
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The Neral-Matheran “toy train” rail link
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Abdul Hussain, son of the business tycoon and first Indian Sheriff of Bombay Sir Adamjee Peerbhoy, was a regular visitor to Matheran at the turn of the century. After having obtained a reluctant consent from his father, young Abdul Hussain camped at Neral in 1900 to plan for a narrow gauge railway line to Matheran. The construction started in 1904 and the two feet narrow gauge line finally opened to traffic in 1907. Four articulated 0-6-0 Tank engines were ordered from Orenstein & Koppel Co. in 1907. Two survivors of these locomotives can be seen today: at the Delhi Railway Museum and another at Jodhpur. Adamjee Peerbhoy received a knighthood for his generosity in donating 16 lakhs of his own money towards this project. The project employed about 1000 beggaris (those who carry mud and concrete on their heads) and also the engineers and men of the 121st Pioneer Regiment of the army.
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Articulation of the locomotive is provided by floating leading and trailing axles on Kleiner principle. With this articulation, the rigid wheelbase is theoretically reduced to minimum. Neral, the starting station of this line, falls nearly midway on the Mumbai-Pune route of the central railway. Starting from Neral, the narrow gauge line runs parallel to the main broad gauge line leaving the original post man’s road to the west of Hardal hill, then turning sharply east. The ascent commences and road and rail meet at the end of the third mile near Jummapatti station. They part company again to meet a mile further just beyond the steep slope of Bhekra Khud. A narrow stretch of level ground terminates in the abrupt rise underlying Mount Barry. To avoid a reversion station (like the one below Khandala now in disuse), a large horseshoe embankment was constructed. Round this the line runs for a mile in the north direction till it turns back through the only tunnel on the route. ‘One Kiss Tunnel’ gives a honeymooning couple time just sufficient for a single kiss! The line now passes under Mount Barry, and to negotiate the rise here, the line zigzags sharply backwards and forwards twice passing through two deep cuttings. The line pursues its way more decorously and reaches out more or less straight for panorama point after skirting it and then returns by Simpson’s tank and terminates close to the Matheran Bazaar. The railway is 12.5 miles long. The permanent way originally consisted of rail 30 lb to a yard with a ruling gradient of 1 in 20. Speed is limited to 12 miles per hour only. The rails have since been replaced by heavier ones weighing 42 lb to a yard. The permanent way Inspector of Neral maintains this line. As a precautionary measure against frequent landslides, the line used to close during the monsoons (July-August) till recently, but now passenger services continue even during rainy months. To commemorate the continuance of trains in the monsoon months of 1982, a MLR loco No. 741 (O&K 1767 of 1905) has been installed at the Matheran station.
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The “toy train” does not run during the monsoon season and most of the hotels also close down during that period. The tracks are damaged to varying extent each year and repairs are carried out after the monsoon. However, in the unprecedented rains 26-27 July 2005, the tracks were so severely damaged that it took the Central Railway almost a year and half to make the necessary repairs. The Matheran-Neral rail link was reopened in 2007, the centenary of the toy train.
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The Bombay-Poona “Deccan Queen”
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The Deccan Queen is one of the Indian Railways best loved trains. Despite the advent of much faster and more modern trains in recent years, the Deccan Queen continues to stand out in a class of her own. Indeed, the Deccan Queen has only aptly been described as the Blue Eyed Babe of the Indian Railways. June 1, 1930 was a red letter day for the Indian Railways, when the erstwhile Great Indian Peninsula Railway (GIPR, now Central Railway) flagged off the 7-car Deccan Queen, India's first deluxe train, to run between the commercial capital Bombay and the cultural capital, Poona. The Deccan Queen has several firsts or 'among the firsts' to her credit: she was India's first superfast train, she was the first long distance electric hauled passenger train, she was one of India's first vestibuled trains. The Deccan Queen was the first to have a Ladies Only car, and amongst the first to feature a diner. (dining car). The train has an exciting and chequered history..The Deccan Queen initially had two train sets (rakes): one painted silver with scarlet moldings, and the other royal blue with golden trim. The underframes of these cars were built by the Metropolitan Cammel C&W Works in Birmingham, England, while the car bodies and coach work were assembled at the Matunga Carriage and Wagon works, Bombay. The standard of comfort was distinctly colonial, in keeping with the upmarket image of this train, and the commuting gentry. Each rake provided accommodation for 61 first class and 156 second class passengers, with 19 attendants. It is interesting to note that there were no third class bogies on the Deccan Queen at the time it was started. This practice continued till the 1960s.
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The glorious Deccan Queen overshadowed the earlier prestigious train on this route, the Poona Mail. Indeed, the Queen revolutionized rail travel in India, cutting down the journey time between Bombay and Poona from a whopping 6 hours (including the reversing manueuver) during steam traction days to an amazing 2 hr 45 min with electric traction. Of course, a Poona Race train had been doing the distance in 3 hr 26 min pulled by steam traction in 1901. This was including three engine changes and one reverse enroute (at Khandala), but this was the exception rather than the rule: it would have been impossible to sustain a regular commercial train service with such a breathless schedule and so many engine changes over a mere 192 km of route! The 2 hr 45 min of the Deccan Queen in 1930 was therefore quite revolutionary for a day train providing a regular service, unlike the seasonal race special.
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It is interesting to note however that the Deccan Queen was originally intended exclusively for the Colonial overlords. Due to this, she was initially run as a weekend special for the 'goraa sahibs' (white bosses). For over a decade, it was considered unprofitable to run the train during the week, due the poor patronage. It was only by 1943 after non-Europeans were allowed on board did the clientele pick up, and traffic built up enough to justify a daily service. Gradually, the Deccan Queen came to be known as a 'husbands' special', catering to men who spent all week working in Bombay, and returned to their families on weekends. Nonetheless, an increasing number of working women too had become part of the passenger profile of the Deccan Queen in the 1950s.
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In the years, 1930s to 1950s, the Deccan Queen was invariably hauled by the Metropolitan Vickers locomotives, the most well-known being the one that came from the Swiss Locomotive-Metropolitan Vickers collaboration (SLM) to Bombay in 1938 as a passenger class loco known as EA/2 4025 (later WCP2 20024) with 1-Co-2 wheel arrangement was named after Sir Roger Lumley, Governor of Bombay (1937-1943). It is likely that at Karjat station the Deccan Queen pushed by the goods train locomotive (WCG 1/GIPR EF/1) named after Sir Leslie Wilson, Governor of Bombay (1923-1928). The latter is the ‘Swiss crocodile’ type locomotives also imported in 1928 SLM. Both these locomotives can be seen at the National Railway Museum in Delhi.
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The EA/1s (WCP/1) were the first electric locomotives to run on Indian soil. They were used for passenger operations on the 1500 Volts DC Bombay to Poona/Manmad sections. In keeping with electrics of that time, these engines too bear a steam locomotive type of wheel arrangement. It can be safely stated that the EA/1s heralded the arrival of high speed train travel in India, as they used to do the 192 km steeply graded Bombay-Poona run with the 7-car Deccan Queen in 2 hr. 45 min. in the 1930s. Today (2007) the Deccan Queen takes 3 hrs and 15 mins to do the same run. This is probably due more to heavy rail traffic on the this route than the pulling speed of the locomotives. Because in the past it was easy to always give the Deccan Queen the green signal all the way. It ran non-stop at top speed from Bombay VT to Karjat. There a second engine would be attached at the rear to push the train up the steep western ghats up to Lonavla station. There the rear locomotive would be detached and the train carried on to Poona. On the return journey the next morning, the same locomotive would be attached to the front and the Deccan Queen would be pulled by two locomotives up to Karjat. The second locomotive while going down was needed due to the steep incline and the security of having a second vacuum brake system in case one locomotive’s brake system failed. On the way down, the driver(s) were instructed to halt the train without fail at Monkey Hill at the steepest part of the ghats. This was done not only to check the brakes, but in case of brake failure the Monkey Hill cabin man could change the tracks so that the train would end up in a sand and gravel laden ‘catch siding’. The EA/1s had a rigid wheelbase of two driving wheels. The third driving wheel is articulated with the third carrying wheel. Each of the driven axles was powered by a pair of motors which could be connected in various combinations to give six different speeds. One more EA/1 is preserved in the Nehru Science Centre in Bombay.
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The Reversing Maneuver At Khandala
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In order the traverse the steep ghats on the way to Poona, the steam engine hauled trains had to undergo an elaborate maneuver called “reversing” just below Khandala, because the steam locomotives, even with two of them attached to a train could barely cope. This not only lengthened the travel time, but meant less number of trains enroute. The sight and the sounds of two steam engines pulling a goods train up the ghats was something really exciting to behold. My father remembered it and even took pictures of the train that we have, but I did not see it as steam locomotion in the ghats was already history when I was growing up in the 1050s and 60s in Bombay.
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Today, the steam locomotive is a thing of the past, and a great era and romance with steam has ended. There were other reasons, than the one mentioned above, for the demise of steam traction: 1) steam locomotives needed two firemen to keep the boiler supplied with coal on fast long-haul trains or in the ghat sections (i.e., four men/locomotive), 2) the steam locomotive had to make stops to take on water every 150-200 miles, a process that could take well over 40 mins (hence a fresh engine, loaded to capacity with coal and water, had to be kept ready in the case of fast trains like the Frontier Mail), 3) the smoke from the locomotive meant not only atmospheric pollution but passengers (except those who traveled in air-conditioned carriages) were also covered in layers of soot before they arrived at their destination, and 4) lastly, steam locomotives operated in one direction, and needed a turnstile to turn them around for the journey in the opposite direction. These turnstiles were available only at main stations.
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The Bombay-Surat “Flying Ranee”
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Unlike the GIP Railway's Deccan Queen, which had a Royal lineage right from the start, the BB&CI Railway's Flying Ranee was made of more humble stuff. However, she did not lag behind in achieving Royalty status. The train is today an immensely popular and heavily subscribed commuter train, carrying office goers and regular commuters between Bombay Central and Surat. The Flying Ranee leaves Surat at 05:30 hrs, arriving Bombay Central at 10:00 hrs. On the return journey, she leaves Bombay Central at 17:55, reaching Surat at 22:00 hrs.
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Virtually no information about the Flying Ranee is available about her heydays, i.e., the period between 1906 and 1914, when she ran as a weekly excursion between Bombay and Surat. Lovingly referred to as the 'Weekend Special', this immensely popular version of the Flying Ranee was endowed with a novel mascot, the 'Gutta Percha Willie', after a hard working character in a novel by George McDonald. Sadly, this phase of glory was short lived, and the Flying Ranee was taken off the rails on 24 April 1914, when World War I broke out.
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On 1 May 1937 the train reappeared, but this time with a Royalty status. She was given a regal send-off at Surat station. An article in an old issue of a magazine of the BB&CI Railway described the event in some detail: (Quote) Mrs. Sethna, wife of the Parsi District Supdt., Bulsar, who has taken a leading part in the inception and organization of the service, undertook the pleasant duty of naming the train before a large holiday crowd. Standing on a platform alongside the gigantic steam locomotive that was gaily decorated for the occasion Mrs. Sethna said: "I name you Flying Ranee, Queen of the West Coast. May all your trips be safe and may all those who travel by you enjoy a happy and carefree holiday and a safe and comfortable homeward journey". This brief address was repeated in Gujarati, after which Mrs. Sethna unveiled the name plaque on the engine's smoke box door. As though all this fanfare and reintroduction of the train was not enough indication of the train's popularity, some thrilled businessmen pooled in cash and distributed colorful saris and white dhotis to all the train's passengers that day. Generous gifts and food packets were also distributed by some passengers on board the train (unquote). The train became very popular amongst businessmen as it connected two important commercial centers, Bombay and Surat. It was very convenient for those having work in Bombay, to travel from Surat and Navsari early in the morning and return back home the same day.
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The Flying Ranee carried an observation car at that time with an on-board telephone service. In this Royal format, the Flying Ranee's running time between Bombay and Surat had been reduced to a mere four hours in each direction. This was considered, at that time, an outstanding example of steam locomotive performance. With nine stops and an average speed of 50 mph, the Flying Ranee was the fastest medium distance express train in the country. With the outbreak of WWII in 1939 the Flying Ranee was relegated to the storage yards once again.
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There was an unusually long gap before the Flying hit the tracks. This time, the train was flagged off on 1 Nov. 1950 from Surat. Its eight cars were packed to capacity with 600 odd passengers on this re-inaugural run. The train was adorned with flamboyant buntings and garlands of flags. The station master at Surat, one Mr. Khadubhai, threw a tea party on the platform from which the train pulled out at 06:00 hrs sharp. The then District Magistrate, Mr. Deshpande, broke the auspicious coconut and spread the coconut water on the engine, then garlanding her. Finally, he broke the flower cord to mark the inauguration (for the third time) of the Flying Ranee. It appeared that everybody who was somebody in Surat's bureaucracy turned up on the occasion. At a special press conference held immediately after the inauguration, the General Manager at Surat, Mr. K.P. Mushran, announced that it was proposed to introduce a radiogram on the Flying Ranee, just like on the Frontier Mail. In all probability, this radiogram would be located in the train's dining car, he said. He also promised that the dining car would be stocked with sufficient reading material to relieve passengers of their boredom during the course of their four-hour journey.
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The post-independence reborn Flying Ranee carried second and third class cars, with separate dining facilities for vegetarians and non vegetarians in addition to the first class. Reservations for the third class could be made one day in advance, including from a special window at Churchgate Station. In the 1950s, as was the earlier practice in the 1930s, the Flying Ranee ran daily, except on Sundays, leaving Bombay Central on Saturdays and Surat on Mondays. Despite it being a fast train, additional halts had been subsequently provided at Borivli, Palghar, Dahanu Road, Daman (Vapi), Udwada, Valsad, and Billimoria. Still more halts were introduced later at Gholwad, Umbergaon Road and Sanjan. The once “flying” queen’s wings had been clipped perhaps forever, reducing its speed and also its exclusivity in its new avatar to serve the janta.
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The Bombay-Peshawar “Frontier Mail”
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The Bombay to Peshawar Frontier Mail made her maiden run from Colaba station on 1 Sept. 1928. Brainchild of the erstwhile BB&CI Railway, the Frontier Mail was put on line to carry passengers and mail from Bombay (having arrived by ship from Europe and USA) to Delhi and, in collaboration with the NWR, even beyond to Peshawar (now in Pakistan) via the Punjab, Lahore and Rawalpindi (which was then the detraining point for Kashmir). The distance between Bombay and Delhi was some 1,393 km., and that to Peshawar a whopping 2,335 km.
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During the winter months of September through December, the Frontier Mail used to depart from Ballard Pier Mole station. British journalists at that time used to refer to this train as the 'duplicate portion' of the Frontier Mail. Ballard Pier Mole station was an ideal hop on point for the several British ladies and gentlemen arriving from England by steamer. It was also a pick up point for mail to be distributed, like its passengers brought in from Europe, to all parts of India by the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company (or P&O) mail boats. The passengers would arrive a day or two before their letters and heavy luggage at destination. It is interesting to note that when the train left Ballard Pier Mole station, it traversed over the tracks first of the Bombay Port Trust Railway, and then the GIP Railway, and then eventually crossed onto the rails of the BB&CI Railway at Parel-Dadar.
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The Frontier Mail had another reason for its introduction: the BB&CI Railway wanted to give its arch rival the GIP Railway a run for its money. The GIP Railway already had a train, the Punjab Limited, running between Bombay VT and Peshawar, but it took several days to get there. With the Frontier Mail, the transit time was reduced to a mere 72 hrs.
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The competition between the BB&CI and GIP Railways is almost legendary. As long ago as 1855, when the GIP Railway was struggling to obtain approval from England for construction of a line across the Western Ghats, the rival BB&CI Railway jumped in with its proposal that an alternative route via Baroda would be more practicable, it would avoid the arduous ghats, and this new line could connect with the East Indian Railway (EIR), something which the GIP Railway had been hoping to achieve once it got permission to cross the ghats anyway. Beginning with that, the competition carried on till both the Railways had their own trains running from Bombay to Peshawar: the GIP's Punjab Limited, and now the BB&CI's Frontier Mail.
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The Frontier Mail was considered more than just a train: it was rather a conversation piece, an exotic fast running train that whisked you right along the length of the country, through Mathura, Delhi, and the Punjab and set you down deep into the North West Frontier town of Peshawar. It was a time when the Frontier Mail could lay claim to being India's fastest long distance train. In fact, this fact was recognized even the The Times newspaper of London in 1930, when it described the Frontier Mail as 'one of the most famous express trains within the British Empire'. The Frontier Mail's punctuality too was something to reckon with. It was generally believed that your Rolex watch might let you down, but not the Frontier Mail. In fact, you could set your watch by it, 9 times out of 10!
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The Western Railway's Headquarters building outside Churchgate station was the first building to be floodlit in Bombay, in keeping with a similar practice of floodlighting buildings back in England. But the BB&CI building was lit up not to highlight its grandeur. Every evening, when the Frontier Mail arrived at Bombay, the building would be floodlit to announce the safe arrival of the train and its passengers. Of course, in the absence of any skyscrapers in those days, this floodlighting could be spotted from a distance of about 36 square miles.
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The punctuality of the Frontier Mail was, in fact, of such crucial importance to the fastidious British sahibs that when on one occasion, in August 1929 exactly 11 months after its inauguration, the train arrived 15 mins late, there was a big uproar among the railway circles, with the driver being asked to explain the reasons for this 'inexcusable' delay. This was considered, at that time, a blemish indeed among the jewels in the BB&CI Railway’s crown.
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The Frontier Mail was an elite train, patronized by the elitist. It used to carry officers of the IPS (Indian Police Service), IFS (Indian Foreign Service) and IES (Indian Education Service) and the like, who were posted along the frontier lines throughout north India. In the 1930s and 1940s, the Frontier Mail carried 450 passengers in six cars, of which one was an elaborate dining car. This dining car has now been replaced by a pantry car. Today, the train runs out of Bombay Central, and terminates at Amritsar, in the Punjab. The name of the train has also been changed from Frontier Mail to Golden Temple Mail. Today, the train lacks the grandeur of the past and looks like any other train.
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Dr. Ardeshir B. Damania
Email: abdamania AT yahoo DOT com
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