India gets first AC local train: History of Mumbai's lifeline
Mumbai : Mumbai's lifeline - local train - has become cooler with all its coaches getting air cooled. The partial train services started from December 25, 2017, while it will go full fledged from January 1, 2018.
While commuters experience the modern air cooled coaches here is a little information about history of Mumbai's lifeline.
The suburban train network was started in 1867 when the first local train was hauled by a steam engine.
The Indian railway started its operation 14 year earlier - on April 16, 1853 - when the first train ran between Bori Bunder (now, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus) to Thane, a distance of 34 km, the first in India.
Sixty one years later on January 5, 1928, the first electric EMU train on WR was introduced and the suburban network continued to grow in leaps and bounds in the past 90 years.
On May 5, 1992, the WR introduced the world's first Ladies Special trains which have now become a regular feature and a trendsetter for similar services in India and some other countries.
Presently, the WR operates a whopping 1,355 suburban services daily transporting around 3.5 million passengers with 89 rakes in the districts of Mumbai, Thane and Palghar, besides the Central Railway servicing commuters in Mumbai, Thane, Palghar, Raigad and surroundings.
Initially, the suburban rakes had only four coaches, and were later upgraded to nine cars in 1958, but as passenger traffic increased, the WR converted all rakes to 12 cars from 1990, and introduced the first 15-car rakes - the longest suburban trains in the country, from November 2009, and the new era of airconditioned suburban travel that started on Monday.