Nearly 170 years ago, India started its first-ever passenger train on a 34-kilometre journey from Mumbai to Thane, carrying 400 people.

Today, India has the world’s third-largest railways network operating on a total length of 1,27,760 km.

A byproduct of the British Raj, the Indian railways have 7,349 stations, 1.3 million employees, and a carrying capacity of 24 million on a daily basis.

It was under the leadership of James John Berkeley, the chief resident engineer, that India’s first passenger train was launched.

After the passenger train, an electric one was not far. In 1925, an electric train was flagged off by then-Bombay Governor Sir Leslie Orme Wilson.

It ran from Bombay VT (now Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus Mumbai) to Coorla (now Kurla) on the harbour line.

With such a glorious history, The Better India has collected the finest pictures of the Indian railways from the bygone days.

The first locomotive to be fully manufactured in India in 1895 in the Ajmer Workshop of Rajputana Malwa Railway.

Women weaving on the platform at Madras in 1946 as part of a mass spinning movement led by Mahatma Gandhi.

Churchgate station, named after St Thomas Church Gate, was built 1870.

A locomotive train across Thane creek.

A 4-Wheeler Narrow Gauge Ambulance Car of Bengal Nagpur Railway.

Picture of workers constructing railway lines.

Picture of Madras railways

CST in Mumbai that combines aspects of Gothic Revival with elements of local ornamentation

Refugees travel between India and Pakistan.

A view of the old Dufferin Bridge at Varanasi.

Men filling coal in the train

Howrah Station being rebuilt between 1900 and 1908.

The inside of an AC chair car.

The new Sutlej Bridge at Phillaur was under construction in the 20th century

New Delhi Railway Station.

4-tiered arch bridge on the Kalka-Shimla Narrow Gauge section of the Kalka-Shimla Railway