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Rare photographs of locomotives and signals on display

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FROM FIRST TO LATEST: Rare photographs of locomotives and signals are on display at the Puducherry Railway Station.
FROM FIRST TO LATEST: Rare photographs of locomotives and signals are on display at the Puducherry Railway Station.

Staff Reporter

Exhibition provides a peep into the history of Railways

PUDUCHERRY: Did you know that the first locomotive to be used in railway operations hauled passengers in 21 trucks from Stockton to Darlington on September 27, 1825? Or that the first train of Indian Railways was from Bombay to Thana on April 16, 1853 and the first broad gauge train of the South Indian Railway was at Trichinopoly in 1929?

Providing a visual trip into the history of railways, from the first locomotive to the latest, is an exhibition of rare photographs. Aimed at informing the public on the development of railways over the years, several pictorial representations of locomotives introduced during different periods and evolution of signals, find place in the exhibition.

Having been kept at the Puducherry Railway Station from Monday to Wednesday for public view, the exhibition moves on to the gallery of Maison Colombani of Alliance Francaise for a two-day show from Thursday.

Beginning from Stephenson’s famous locomotive no. 1, which sometimes attained a speed of 12 miles per hour, the exhibition has images of different signals used over the years. Among the other rare photographs were those of the dawn of railways in the south with Madras Railway Company’s first train from Vyasarpadi to Walaja Road in 1856 and Nilgiri Mountain Railway service from Mettupalayam to Coonoor in 1899.

It was in 1931 that automatic block was first introduced in India, while diesel electric locomotive service on the Southern Railway was introduced on December 5, 1963. The first electrification in India came with the Bombay-Kurla service in 1925.

An image of the first containerised freight service on railways commenced in 1966 between Bombay and Ahmedabad was also displayed. A picture of passengers arriving by ferry steamer from Ceylon and changing into Madras Boat Mail at Dhanushkodi pier was one of the interesting images in the exhibition.

Photographs of the latest diesel locomotives and electric locomotives have been displayed. The exhibition would be inaugurated at Maison Colombani, Dumas Street by the Additional Divisional Railway Manager of Southern Railway, Tiruchi, S. Ramasubbu. Public can visit the exhibition from 10.45 a.m. to 4.30 p.m. on Thursday and Friday.


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