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Punjab Mail, India's oldest train that served Britishers, turns 110

Mumbai, Could 31

The oldest operating long-distance prepare of the Indian Railways, Punjab Mail, connecting Mumbai-Firozpur — initially linking Bombay with Peshawar (now in Pakistan) — turns 110 on Tuesday, Central Railway officers mentioned right here on Monday.

The Punjab Restricted as she was referred to as then, is just a little over 16 years older than its extra glamorous counterpart Frontier Mail, although its origins are slightly imprecise.

She steamed out of Bombay’s Ballard Pier Mole station – which was the hub of the erstwhile Nice Indian Peninsular Railways (GIPR), that later turned the CR.

Primarily based on a Value Estimate paper of 1911 and a criticism by an irate passenger in October 2012 about “the later arrival of the prepare by a couple of minutes at Delhi” station, the CR concluded that the Punjab Mail made her maiden run on June 1, 1912.

To start with, there have been the P&O steamers bringing within the mail, and excited officers of the British Raj together with their spouses, coming to their first postings in colonial India after a 13-day lengthy sea voyage from Southampton to Mumbai Port.

Because the British officers held a mixed ticket each for the ocean voyage to Bombay after which onward inland journey by prepare to their place of postings, after disembarking they might merely board one of many trains from right here certain for Delhi, Calcutta or Madras.

The Punjab Restricted used to run on fastened mail days from Bombay to Peshawar overlaying 2,496 km in round 47 hours alongside the Nice Indian Peninsular route, by way of Itarsi, Agra, Delhi and Lahore.

At the moment, it had solely three passenger automobiles with a complete capability of 96 travellers, three for postal items and mail, and was the quickest operating prepare within the British India.

The passenger coaches had been all hall automobiles in top quality, twin berth compartments, and effectively appointed with toilets, bogs, a restaurant automotive, a compartment for the baggage and servants of the British officers.

Later, from 1914, the Punjab Restricted began originating and terminating on the Bombay VT Station, now Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus Mumbai and a UNESCO World Heritage web site.

At this time, the journey time of Punjab Mail, hauled by electrical engines, has come down considerably, overlaying the 1,930 km between Mumbai CSMT-Firozpur Cantt in 34 hours 15 minutes.

In comparison with the unique 6 automobiles of the Punjab Restricted, Punjab Mail now has 9 air-conditioned coaches, 6 sleeper coaches, 5 basic second class coaches, a pantry and a generator van.

By mid-1930s, it additionally began catering to the Indians on the transfer in Third class automobiles, it obtained the primary airconditioned coach in 1945, from Could 1976, it was hauled by diesel engines, and by 1980s with electrical engines as a big a part of the trunk routes on the IR community obtained electrified.

From December 2020, the Punjab Mail began its journey with the German-designed Alstom LHB GmbH’s Linke Hofmann Busch (LHB) coaches which give extra security and a nice journey expertise to the passengers. IANS

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