1. In its present form, Western Railway came into existence on November 5, 1951 by the merger of its forerunner, the erstwhile Bombay, Baroda and Central India Railway (BB&CI), with other State Railways viz, Saurashtra, Rajputana and Jaipur.
2. The BB&CI Railway was inaugurated in 1855, starting with the construction of a 29 mile broad gauge track from Ankleshwar to Utran in Gujarat state on the West Coast with Surat as its headquarters then.
3. On November 21, 1855 the Company concluded an agreement with the East India Company to construct a railway line from Surat to Baroda and Ahmedabad. Another contract was signed to start a line from Utran (north of Surat) to Bombay to ensure a plentiful supply of cotton grown in Gujarat coming into the western port. Work commenced on the line in the following year and the line from Uttran to Grant Road station in Bombay was officially opened on November 28, 1864 – marking the beginnings of the Western line. The process of the actual founding of the BB&CI local line to and within the city of Bombay and the identification of a terminus, particularly south of Grant Road – the first terminus, was a perplexing issue.
4. Although the inaugural run terminated at Grant Road station, this terminus did not adequately serve the population which lived further south; near the old Fort or the cantonment at Colaba that was now serving a sizable population. It was decided to extend to the Back Bay, just outside the western side of the old Fort area and alongside the western bay. This station was subsequently called Churchgate as it was in close proximity to the old Church Gate of the fortified town – the gate that afforded entry to St. Thomas Church that later became a Cathedral.
5. Western Railway has grown with the city of Mumbai and Mumbai city has grown with Western Railway and has been the cynosure of the development of the city of Mumbai. The Mumbai Suburban System of Western Railway exists from Churchgate to Dahanu Road. The present jurisdiction of Western Railway is in 6 divisions i.e., Mumbai Central, Vadodara, Ahmedabad, Rajkot, Bhavnagar and Ratlam.
1. The first train in Asia (and India) ran between Mumbai and Thane on Saturday, April 16, 1853 at 3:35pm. The day was declared a public holiday. Bori Bunder, the point of departure was thronged by a multitude, and bands played and guns were fired from the Fort's ramparts, when at the signalled moment, there steamed out from a tiny wooden station, the little train hauled by three engines that heralded the dawn of the Railway Era in India.
2. As the years passed, the Great Indian Peninsula Railway expanded. With the merger of the Indian Midland Railway Company with the G.I.P. Railway Company in 1900, its frontiers were extended from Delhi in the North, Kanpur and Allahabad in the North-east and Nagpur in the East to Raichur in the South-east. Thus, through connection from Bombay was obtained to almost all parts of India. The route mileage of the G.I.P. Railway was 1,600. (2575 km)
3. On November 5, 1951 Central Railway was formed by integrating Nizam State, Scindia State and Dholpur State Railways, with GIP Railway. Central Railway suburban railway network has played a pioneering role in socio-economic growth of the city of Mumbai and also heralded the advent of mass rapid transit system in India. Central Railway has come a long way since then and now it has a vast network of 4151.93 route km traversing through the states of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka. Mumbai Suburban Network of Central Railway is one of the largest networks in the world carrying approx. 4.5 million passengers every day.
4. In October 1966, one more railway viz. South Central Railway was formed by merging Solapur Division from CR and Secunderabad, Hubballi, Vijayawada Divisions from SR. On 2nd October 1977, Solapur Division was merged with CR and Guntakal Division from SR was included in South Central Railway.
5. Later in 2003, seven more zones were created wherein, Jabalpur and Bhopal Divisions of Central Railway were included in West Central Railway and Jhansi Division was included in North Central Railway. As on date, CR has 5 divisions viz. Mumbai, Bhusaval, Nagpur, Solapur, Pune with a network of 466 stations.
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