A homage to some of the many ‘FIRSTS’ of the Indian Railways

Let’s revisit the legacy of Indian Railways as it completes 171 years of non-stop service to millions of passengers commuting for daily work or holidays.

Hitanshu Bhatt
New Update
many firsts of indian railways

As the most celebrated Indian Railways complete its 171 years of existence, let’s have a look at some of the many firsts it had in its tenure. From its first rail line in 1853 to the first-ever underground railway station to be launched in the future, you will be amazed to see the feats achieved by this organization.

First Passenger Train


The first passenger train was started on 16 April 1853. It ran between Bori Bunder (Bombay) and Thane, covering a distance of about 35 km. The train run by the Great Indian Peninsula Railway was operated by three locomotives, named Sahib, Sultan and Sindh, and had thirteen carriages. It carried 400 passengers in the first go for what is known as a historic feat for the Indian Railways. 

First Electric Train 

Almost 68 years after the launch of the first passenger train, the Indian Railways saw the first electric train, which was started on 3 February 1925. The train ran between Bombay Victoria Terminus (now Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus) and Kurla Harbour.

First Express Train 


The first express train was started on 1 April 1929 between Peshawar and Mangalore. The train was named as the Grand Trunk Express. It is one of India's oldest and ongoing trains, whose earlier route took almost 104 hours.  

First Superfast Train



Not longer than a year after the first express train was started, India got its first-ever superfast train in 1930. The Deccan Queen had many firsts associated with it along with the country's first superfast train. It is also the first long-distance electric-hauled train, the first vestibuled train, the first train to have a "ladies only" car and the first train to feature a dining car.

India's First Indigenously-built Locomotive

The F-734 was the first ever locomotive to be built completely in India. Manufactured in 1895 by the Ajmer Workshop of the North Western Railway, the locomotive was withdrawn after its 63 years of service since 1895 and is still kept at the National Rail Museum in New Delhi.

First Railway Station in North 

In 1864, the north of India got its first station near the Chandni Chowk area of Delhi named the Delhi Junction.

First Railway Station in East 

Howrah Division is the oldest Division of the Eastern Railway, making Howrah the first railway station in the East. On 15 August 1854, East Indian Railway's first train commenced its inaugural commercial run from Howrah to Hooghly, marking Howrah as the oldest railway station in the East. 

First Railway Station in West 

As mentioned above the very first train left from Bori Bander (present Mumbai), so it became the first railway station in India as well as in the western part of the country. 

First Railway Station in South 

Royapuram Railway Station which is in Chennai began its operations on 28 June 1856 making it the first railway station in the southern part of India. It is one of the oldest surviving stations in India. 

First Hill Passenger Railway 


One of the engineering marvels of Indian Railways, the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway was the first Hill Passenger Railway Station of India. It was opened in 1881 and is functional to date providing access to the internal parts from the mountain area. 

First Railway Bridge


The Thane Creek Railway Bridge or the Dapoorie Viaduct is the first-ever railway bridge in India. This is the bridge from where the first train passed making it a historical movement and a documentation of two firsts for the Indian Railways. 

First Railway Workshop



The first Railway Workshop in Bihar was established in Jamalpur by the British presidency on 8 February 1862. The Workshop, conducted near Munger was a part of the East Indian Railway and led the way for future workshop setups. 

First Underground Railway Station 

Even after so many years of its existence and innovations, the Indian Railway never fails to impress us. It is soon going to achieve another remarkable achievement of developing the first underground railway station in India. The ongoing Sivok-Rangpo Railway Link project is going to give Sikkim its first-ever railway station and India its first-ever underground railway station after its completion. 

These many ‘firsts’ of the Indian Railways make it the numero uno mode of transport for millions of people because of its accessibility, innovation and keeping up with the changing times. 

First Electric Train First Passenger Train First Superfast Train First Express Train First Hill Passenger railway First Railway Bridge First Railway Workshop First Underground Railway Station India's First Indigenously-built Locomotive