Two-day photo exhibition of Indian railways

COIMBATORE: A photo exhibition began at the Coimbatore Railway Station on Thursday which will continue till Sunday. The exhibition, organized to mark the 160th anniversary of the railways in India, has photos narrating its history.

The train service was launched in India on April 16, 1853, with the first train service between present day Mumbai and Thane. The train was operated on a steam engine. Earlier, there were wagon services where coaches pulled by bullocks on rail tracks were used to transport goods. An old photo of the first train service survives, showing how far technology has advanced since then. As visitors run through the pictures on display, they get a good idea of how trains evolved in both looks and technology.

“The black and white pictures are especially interesting as they depict trains that look very different from modern day trains,” says E Ponmani, a retired teacher who was at the exhibition.

The exhibition also showcases some of the interesting trains that are still in service across the nation. One picture depicts a railway official flagging off a train with the Taj Mahal in the background. The photographs collectively reveal the various aspects of the Indian railways and how it evolved over time.

Indian trains together cover a distance of 63,490 kilometres and is estimated to ferry 2.2 crore passengers on a regular basis. While India may be behind in rail services when compared to developed countries, some of its features are impressive. For example, luxury trains offer high quality luxury service. The Royal Rajasthan on Wheels which is a 7 day trip is one such service. Then there are the train services which were recognised by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), including the Nilgiri Mountain Railway. Photos of the re-fuelling of trains and the coaches are also on display.

The Public Relations officer of Salem Division, G V Venkatesan said, “The Indian railways has a long History. We are number four in railways across the world”.

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