The social impact of the railways emerged from the very beginning. The railways made India mobile and opened up new vistas and opportunities for its people. It brought in new expertise and trades, new technology and above all, it gave the people a sense of freedom.
Railways were pioneers in setting up large residential colonies. Even today, the very mention of the words 'Railway Colony' conjures up images of small, quaint townships of brick red houses, spacious tiled bungalows, creepers climbing over their walls. Railway colonies are indeed a world of their own!
The empowerment of women is perhaps the most defining movement since the 20th Century. We hear inspiring stories of women who have made a mark in male-dominated roles, like in public life and government, as captains of industry and in sport. Every walk of life today has women leading, and their number is increasing with each passing year
These colourful and informative timetables are probably not missed by most travellers today, but the rail enthusiasts deeply regret their loss.
Memories of growing up in railway colonies in various small towns, during the 1940s to the early 1970s, are evocative of a well-ordered life.
When in Assam, take in the history of the Northeast Frontier Railway line with a tour of the steam locos at the Tinsukia's Rail Heritage Park.
The Regional Railway Museum tells the history of the rich and diverse heritage of the Indian Railways which has contributed towards the integration and development of the nation.
Take a trip down the memory lane to explore the history of Baroda State Railway which features the oldest narrow gauge line in the world.
While a train journey through the length and breadth of the country has its romance, this cannot be compared to the allure, beauty and charm of a trip on a mountain railway. There are five mountain rail lines in India, and each one of them has an aura of its own.
In Indian rail terminology, a 'ghat' is a section of rail line that is on a steep slope. The Braganza Ghat goes up and through the Western Ghats, a range of hills separating the West coast of India from the Deccan plateau. The main rail traffic on the Braganza Ghat was the movement of coal from the Goan port of Marmugao to the interior locations in Karnataka.
A ring railway is a circular rail network in Delhi, which runs parallel to the ring road. It was introduced to service goods traffic in 1975, but ran 24 additional services during the Asian Games of 1982. The ring railway was never a real success, as it was away from major population centres and was poorly connected to feeder buses.
Pratap Nagar locomotive shed, in Vadodara, is where the locos from other lines were brought to, and from, the Pratap Nagar Shed on broad gauge transporter wagons every six months or so in order to receive its scheduled maintenance.
For rail-fans, Adarki is a haven of premium quality single-track diesel hauled main-line action, set amongst memorable curves, guarded by tall mountains and passing through breathtakingly deep rock cuttings. The location's main claim to fame is the spectacular horseshoe curve that is visible from behind the station platform.
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