India was introduced to the railways in the year 1853 during the rule of the British. The British power required a fast and trustworthy mode of transport for the movements of the troops throughout the length and breadth of the country. Driven by the cause they started the first train on the Indian soil on 16th April, 1853. It ran between Bori bunder and Thane covering the distance of 21 miles.
This pioneer train began its path breaking journey amid a loud applause and salute of 21 guns. It was consisted of 14 carriages that transported over 400 passengers. Before this train, a steam locomotive known as Thompson ran between Roorkee and Solani since 1851. This was used entirely for built-up and construction work.
One more passenger train started on 15th August 1854 between Howrah and Hooghly. This train covered the distance of 24 miles. Subsequently another train started between Hathras Road and Mathura Cantonment on October 19th, 1875. The train service in South India was marked by the train that was operated between Vysarapady and Wallajah on 1st July, 1856.
The railway line in due course extended to the west coast and reached Madras. As time progressed, Allahabad and Kanpur were connected with Indian Railways. The majority of the railway tracks were laid during the colonial rule; however Indian Railways got liberated and became a body on its own after the independence.
In 1951, the nationalization of the Indian Railways as a unit was done and eventually it became one of the largest networks across the globe. It consists of a total track length of around 108,706 kilometers and covers a total length of about 63,140 kilometers. Impressive growth in rail networks leads to the operating of 14,444 trains spanning twenty six states and three union territories.