The Indian Railways, the nation’s pride and carrier, had modest beginnings on April 16th,1853, when the first passenger train set out on a 34-kilometre journey, from Mumbai to Thane, carrying around 400 people.
It has been 165 years since, and the Railways has spawned into the world’s largest, covering over 151,000 kilometres of track, 7,000 stations, 1.3 million employees, and carrying around 24 million people every day.
Hence it is fitting that Google, via its online Arts and Culture project, is celebrating the rich history and heritage of the Indian Railways with over 100 exhibitions. In addition to scenic routes and historic events, this project will tell you the story of the Railways and the people who keep this huge machinery running, reports The Quartz.
The project aims to make India’s rich rail heritage more accessible to Indians.
Get ready for a lifetime’s worth of tales, from trackmen and keymen to the pioneering women who became signal engineers and rail managers, in what used to be a male-dominated industry. These are the stories of the men and women who keep the trains running all day, every day throughout India.
Like Ganey Khawas, the oldest living former worker of the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, who born in 1916, and still remembers the days of the steam engines. Or Balbahadur Majhi a 76-year-old former locomotive pilot, who worked on the job during natural disasters.
Women like M Kalavathy, one of the first female signal engineers, who was from the 1981 batch of railways aspirants, and Mona Srivastava, from the 1998 batch, who became the first woman to join the Indian Railways service of engineers.
Get to know about the Nilgiri mountain rails and Delhi’s local trains, and explore several routes that were previously unheard of, thanks to Google.
You can do all this and more by visiting the Google Arts and Culture website and app, a virtual museum that celebrates the rich history of our vast rail network, through a collection of over 3,000 images and around 150 videos.
And the best part? No queues, no fee, and accessible with a touch of the finger. So what are you waiting for? Dive right into the rich history of the Indian Railways.
(Edited by Gayatri Mishra)