Search engine giant Google has come up with a new doodle on its India home page to mark 160 years of the country's first passenger train journey.
India's first passenger train journey took place on 16 April, 1853, between Bombay and Thane. Three steam locomotives - Sahib, Sindh, and Sultan - carried 400 invited passengers in 14 carriages and began their journey covering a 34km distance.
The Bombay-Thane railway line was not the first one to have been laid. India's rail history goes back to 1832, when a plan was put forward to lay a railway line. In 1832, the first railway line was put down near Chintadripet Bridge, now in Chennai.
Until 1853-54 when two railway companies - Great Indian Peninsular Railway (GIPR) and East Indian Railway (EIR) - were created there was no passenger train routes. The first train became operational on 22 December, 1851, in India to collect canal construction material in Roorkee.
The first passenger train started its trip from Bori Bunder in Mumbai (then Bombay) to Thane on 16 April, 1853.
Top 10 interesting facts about Indian Railways
1. Kolkata metro was the first underground railway line built, and its operations began in 1984.
2. The longest rail route is covered by a weekly train called "Vivek Express" which travels from Dibrugarh in Assam to Kannyakumari in Tamil Nadu. The train became operational in 2011 and covers a distance of 4,273 km. The longest non-stop travel - a 528 km stretch between Vadodara and Kota is covered by Trivandrum - H. Nizamuddin Rajdhani Express.
3. The shortest distance is covered by scheduled services that run between Nagpur and Ajni stations, which are situated just at a distance of 3 km from each other. It is mainly used to take crew members from Nagpur to a workshop at Anji.
4. The longest name of a station is Venkatanarasimharajuvariipeta on the Arakkonam-Renigunta section near Chennai. The shortest names of stations are Ib in Orissa and Od near Anand in Gujarat.
5. The fastest train in India is the New Delhi-Bhopal Shatabdi Express that travels at a speed up to 150 km/h on the Faridabad-Agra section. It also has the highest commercial speed - 89.87 km/h. It covers a distance of 704 km between New Delhi and Bhopal in just seven hours and 50 minutes.
6. The train with the maximum number of stops is the Howrah-Amritsar Express that halts at 115 places. This is followed by the Delhi - Howrah Janata Express which has 109 halts and Jammu Tawi - Sealdah Express with 99 halts.
7. Vembanad Rail Bridge in Kerala is the longest rail bridge in India covering a 4.62 km stretch. It is part of a 8.6 km railway link that connects Edappally and Vallarpadam in Kochi. However, this railway line is dedicated only for goods traffic. Nehru Setu on Sone River (10044ft in length) is the second longest railway bridge in India.
The country is planning to open the world's highest rail bridge - Chenab bridge in Jammu and Kashmir - in 2016. The arch-shaped bridge is being built across the Chenab river-bed in Reasi district at a distance of 359 m above the river bed.
8. The longest railway platform in the world (excluding subway platforms) is in Kharagpur, West Bengal. The platform stretches to a distance of 1072.5 m in length.
9. Guwahati-Trivandrum Express is said to be the least punctual long-distance train. The train has to cover its distance in 65 hours and five minutes, but there is an average of about 10 to 12 hours delay during the trip.
10. There are two stations in the same location in Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra. Srirampur and Belapur are two different stations located on the same place, but on the opposite side of the track.