The history of the Indian Railways spans more than a hundred years. Established during colonial rule, the railways were later divided into their zones such as the Eastern, Western, Northern and Southern Railways along with further subdivisions. Divisions such as the Northeast Frontier Railway, East Coast Railway and so on, also form part of the huge railway empire.
The first operated railway track in India was the stretch between Bombay and Thane in 1853. By 1900, the Indian railways were the largest rail network in Asia, and the fourth largest in the world. The Partition of India in 1947 saw a loss of mileage as the tracks were divided between India and newly formed East and West Pakistan. (Kerr, 1-3) The Indian tracks have been increased considerably after the Partition and the statutory body of Indian Railways is one of the largest employers in the world.
The train ticket in this post is apparently from 18 March 1913 as the date stamp shows and was for travel between the stations Sealdah, Bally Ghat and Dakshineswar which are part of Eastern Railway. The ticket dates back to the time when steam engine-operated local trains were in service.
Contributor: Subhradeep Chatterjee
Indian Railways Train Ticket, 1913. Subhradeep Chatterjee.
[Image Description: The train ticket is brownish in colour and is rectangular in shape; about 7cm in height and 3cm in width. The texture is slightly coarse like that of cardboard. It contains a red date stamp at the top which reads “18 MAR 13”. The rest of the text is also from stamps (blue) as the slight blurring indicates. It includes text like “E.R.” (for Eastern Railway), the originating station “SEALDAH” and then the stops “BALLY GHAT” and “DAKSHINESWAR” and their respective distances from Sealdah. The same is also printed in Bengali text below the English portion. It also contains the text “Rs. 0.55 P” which was the fare in both English and Bengali, the latter placed below the former. There is a faint stamp of the ticket number at the very bottom but it cannot be read. The right side of the ticket has a striped texture running sideways and of about 0.5cm in width.]
“Zones and Divisions”. Indian Railways. https://indianrailways.gov.in/railwayboard/view_section.jsp?lang=0&id=0,1,304,366,533,1007,1012
Kerr, Ian J. Railways in Modern India. Oxford University Press, 2005.