Kolkata: Hitting upon a treasure trove of archival materials, the Indian Railways, which runs the world’s largest railway network, has recently found timetables and magazines between 1920 and 1930 and is keen to preserve its rich heritage for posterity.
Time-tables of the period between 1920 and 1930 were found and sent to the Heritage Centre, an Eastern Railway press release said.
The heritage items available in headquarters and workshops like Liluah and Jamalpur, which have recently completed 150 years of their establishment, are required to be preserved at the Heritage Centre. The then East Indian Railway (EIR) ran its first train from Howrah to Hooghly, a distance of 24 miles, first on August 15, 1854, starting with three stops – Bally, Serampore and Chandannagore.
In 1862, EIR extended up to the west bank of the Yamuna on its way to Delhi. In 1864, in a bid to connect Calcutta and Delhi, the train services were operated between the two cities, which then did not have a bridge across the Yamuna, by ferrying coaches in boats across the river at Allahabad. In 1865, the Yamuna bridge at Allahabad opened. In 1867, the EIR branch line extended from Allahabad to Jabbalpore.
After the Government of India took over the management of EIR in 1925, it was split into six divisions — Howrah, Asansol and Danapore known as the lower divisions and Allahabad, Lucknow and Moradabad known as the upper divisions.
Eastern Railway was formed on 14th April, 1952, by integration of the EIR consisting of Sealdah, Howrah, Asansol and Danapur Divisions and the entire Bengal – Nagpur Railway (BNR). ER general manager R.K. Gupta during a recent inspection of different departments mooted introduction of digitisation of old records, documents and files for future reference.
He also asked employees to focus on safety and passenger amenities, saying that there will be no compromise on this front.
- Archival materials found belong to the 1920-30 period
- They can be digitised and preserved at Heritage Centre