COVID-19: Railways celebrates founding day without passengers for first time in 167 years

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It was on April 16, 1853, when the first train in India started its journey from Bombay to Thane. However, 167 years later, for the first time, the transporter did not ferry any passenger due to the national lockdown amid the COVID-19 crisis.

Indian Railways has undergone a drastic change ever since it began its services.

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From catering to the colonial interest which allowed the transport of raw materials to the ports, to becoming a tool that unified the country, the Indian railways presently is the largest public employer in the world.

The Railway Ministry on Twitter said, “The journey of Indian Railways continues since last 167 years.. HAPPY BIRTHDAY INDIAN RAILWAYS.”

Railways Minister Piyush Goyal also tweeted saying that the railways have been stopped for the safety of the people.

The only other time railways services were stopped was in 1974 for a few days due to a strike by the employees.

The transporter has expanded in the last few years and reached parts of the North East and enhanced its connectivity to Jammu and Kashmir.

Ever since the lockdown has come into effect on March 25, the railways suspended its services till May 3. Around 15,523 trains catering to over 20 million passengers every day have been impacted.

As per the latest figures by the health ministry, the death toll due to the virus reached 437 and the total number of cases were at 13,387.

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