Trains for Indians have a very special place. They are the ever-reliable (well… sometimes) mode of transport that literally any person of any budget can afford. Where you have seats for Rs. 100-200 and sometimes even less than that then there are also the uber-luxurious ones that go over Rs. 10,000.
But no matter what, we’ve all spent our fair share of time travelling through trains, whether it is those short 3-4 hour journeys or those days long ones with those sleeper bunks and whatnot.
Among trains, India has some pretty impressive ones to boast of, but one of them might be not that well known. A train running for the past 73 years without taking even a single rupee from its passengers.
A 73 Year Old Train
The Bhakra train or Bhakra Railway Train as it is called is a special daily train that connects Nangal and Bhakar located on the borders of Punjab and Himachal Pradesh.
The train launched in 1948 was initially meant to provide easy transport to employees and heavy construction equipment that at the time were involved in building the Bhakar Nangal dam.
Currently, the train is operated by the Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB) and covers a short distance of just 13km. It goes through the Sutlej River and the Shivalik Hills.
Now the train is meant mostly for tourists and BBMB employees and the decision to keep the train rides free of cost was also to bring in tourists that would use the train to visit the dam.
As per reports on a daily basis, the train carries around 300 passengers which also include students and other people from the 25 villages that are located in the area.
In the beginning, the train ran on steam engines which were changed in 1953 to engines imported from America that it is still using till date.
The seating area of the train has colonial-era wooden benches however the coaches themselves are considered to be extremely unique and it is also said that all were handmade in Karachi. There was a point in time when the BBMB felt that they should start charging for tickets, mostly due to funding issues, however, that was scrapped considering what the train represented.
Image Credits: Google Images
Feature Image designed by Saudamini Seth
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This post is tagged under: Indian Train, travel, india travel, india travel train, Bhakra Beas Management Board, Bhakra Beas Management Board train, Bhakra train, Bhakra train ride, Bhakra train price, Bhakra train free, Himachal Pradesh
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