Chronology of railways in India, (1995 – present)

  • 1995
January 16: First regularly scheduled services on trains hauled by locos using the 2*25kV ‘dual’ system of traction (Bina-Katni on CR).
January: First prototype of the CONCERT passenger reservation system developed at Secunderabad.
Gauge conversion of Purna-Nanded / Manmad-Mudkhed MG section breaks the MG network’s north-south connection. (Mudkhed-Secunderabad is left as an isolated MG line.)
Khodiyar-Mehsana MG section converted to BG.
DLW and GM sign contract for technology transfer for GM’s GT46MAC and 710 series locos, and the purchase of 31 GT46MAC/GT46PAC locos.
April: The first WDP-1 loco is commissioned.
April 2: New Madras Beach – Tambaram BG line.
July 18: The first WDG-2 loco is commissioned.
December 6: Last official BG steam service (Jalandhar-Ferozepur).
Hassan-Mangalore MG line dismantled in parts for gauge conversion.
Miraj-Bangalore line converted to BG.
Gauge conversion of Hissar-Rewari, Rewari-Jaipur, Phulera-Marwar, Jodhpur-Jaisalmer, Chikjajur-Hubli, Hubli-Londa, Londa-Miraj, Hospet-Hubli, Donakonda-Giddalur, Muzaffarpur-Raxaul, Birpur-Shimoga, Parbhani-Purna, Arjuni-Wadsa, Purulia-Kotshila (planned completion dates — some may have taken longer).
Sep. 27: End-to-end through service on the Calcutta Metro begins (Tollygunge to Dum Dum) with 16 of the planned 17 stations.
Delhi-Panipat MEMU service begins.
Eleven WAP-5 locos imported from ABB (AdTranz), the first locos with 3-phase AC technology in India.
IR begins a big push to convert passenger coaches from 24V electricals to 110V systems.
Dec. : DLW exports 2 WDM-2 locos to Sri Lanka.
Pune division of CR created.
Mumbai’s Harbour line is extended to Khandeshwar.
Diva – Veer DMU services inaugurated.
IR launches ‘Exhibition-on-Wheels’, a special train with various IR-related material forming a travelling exhibition.
IR signs agreement with Linke Hoffman Busch (LHB, now part of Alstom) for supply of, and technology transfer for, passenger coaches.
[Disaster] May 14: 52 killed as Madras-Kanyakumari Exp. collides with goods train near Salem.
[Disaster] June 1: 73 killed in two separate accidents (West Bengal, Orissa).
[Disaster] Aug. 20: 302 killed as Delhi-bound Purushottam Express rams into the stationary Kalindi Express at Firozabad, UP. Some sources claim the death toll was 400+. This is India’s second worst railway disaster going by the death toll (the 1981 accident in which a train fell into a river in Bihar being the worst).
  • 1996
Six WAG-9 locos and 16 more in kit form imported from ABB (AdTranz), the second batch of 3-phase AC locos for IR. First one is commissioned on Dec. 27.
Feb. 11: The last of the 17 stations of the first phase of the Calcutta Metro (Mahatma Gandhi Road) is commissioned.
March 4: Victoria Terminus is renamed Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus.
April: DLW exports 10 YDM-4 locos to Bangladesh.
July: Six new railway zones proposed and approved in principle.
Sep.: The Union Cabinet approves the first phase of the Delhi Metro.
September: CONCERT system of computerized reservations fully deployed at New Delhi.
Telecom cubicle provided on the Mumbai Rajdhani for on-board telephone and fax service.
[Disaster] April 18: 60 killed as Gorakhpur-Gonda passenger train rams into stationary goods train at Domingarh near Gorakhpur, UP.
[Disaster] May 14: 35 in a bus killed as Ernakulam-Kayamkulam Express collides with the bus at an unmanned level crossing near Alappuzha, Kerala.
[Disaster] May 25: 25 killed when Allahabad-bound passenger train rams into a tractor-trailer at an unmanned level crossing near Varanasi.
[Disaster] Dec. 30: 33 killed in bomb blast on Brahmaputra Mail between Kokrajhar and Fakiragram in lower Assam.
  • 1997
Freight services begin on Konkan Railway.
Third Godavari bridge built, to replace the first one built in 1897, near Rajahmundry.
RCF begins manufacture of MEMU coaches.
Mehsana-Palanpur MG section converted to BG.
Ahmedabad-Ajmer MG section converted to BG.
Radio communication between driver and guard introduced on the Delhi – Mughalsarai route.
An experimental system interconnecting Vyasarapadi, Korukkupet, and Washermanpet stations’ signalling systems to Basin Bridge Jn. (Chennai) using fibre-optic links is in place.
October 18: Fairy Queen back in regular revenue service.
Madras MRTS begins running with service between Beach and Luz.
Oct. 19: Beach – Thirumayilai (Mylapore) construction completed.
DMU services begin on KR (Karwar-Pernem).
Jan. 11: Salem – Bangalore BG conversion.
DLW exports one WDS-6 shunter to Puttlam Cement Co. in Sri Lanka, and 6 WDM-2 locos to Sri Lanka Railways.
CONCOR buys 1300 BFKI flat wagons from IR in an effort to increase its container transport capacity.
April 30: The infamous ‘Platinum Pass’ is instituted, which allowed all current and past Railway Board members to free travel on IR by Air-conditioned First Class. This perquisite was later withdrawn on court order following a successful public interest lawsuit.
WDM-2 #16859 of Ernakulam shed becomes the first Indian loco to get air-conditioning as a permanent feature (excluding locos specially provided with such equipment just for the ‘beauty contests’).
Erstwhile Moradabad steam shed is dismantled to make way for a Concor depot.
[Disaster] July 8: 33 killed in bomb blast on passenger train at Lehra Khanna station in Bhatinda district, Punjab.
[Disaster] July 28: 12 killed in collision between Karnataka Exp. and Himsagar Exp. near Faridabad, Haryana, near New Delhi.
[Disaster] Sep. 14: At least 81 killed as five coaches of Ahmedabad-Howrah Express derail and fall into a river at Bilaspur, MP. Some sources claim a death toll of 120.
  • 1998
Konkan Railway construction is completed, and the first passenger train is flagged off on Jan. 26.
IR begins upgrading communication links along high traffic routes to optic fibre.
November 14: CLW begins production of indigenous versions of WAG-9 (first one is “Navyug”).
April 29: CLW also manufactures its 2500th electric loco (a WAG-7, “Swarna Abha”).
June 14: CONCERT system of computerized reservations deployed at Kolkata.
10 YDM-4′s sent to Tanzania under a 10-year full-service lease by RITES.
Diva-Panvel doubling inaugrated; EMU services begin from Panvel.
Coupon Validating Machines (CVMs) introduced at Mumbai CST.
Aug. 22: Tambaram-Tiruchirappalli BG conversion.
Thanjavur- Tiruchirappalli BG conversion.
Oct. : The first WDP-2 (#15501) is commissioned.
‘Buddha Parikrama’, a tourist train for Buddhist sites, launched.
A seventh new railway zone (in addition to the six proposed in 1996) is proposed.
[Disaster] April 4: 11 killed as Howrah-Danapur Express derails between between Fatuha and Bankaghat stations.
[Disaster] April 24: 24 killed, 32 injured as a goods train with 15 wagons collides with the Manmad-Kacheguda Exp. at Parli Vaijanath (Beed) station, MP.
[Disaster] Aug. 13: 19 killed, 37 injured as the Chennai-Madurai Exp. collides with a bus at an unmanned level crossing on the New Karur – Salem bypass.
[Disaster] Sep. 24: 20 killed (14 children) and 33 injured as a locomotive collides with a bus at an unmanned level crossing near Bottalapalem, AP.
[Disaster] Nov. 26: At least 212 killed Jammu Tawi – Sealdah Express rams into three derailed carriages of the Amritsar-bound Golden Temple mail at Khanna, near Ludhiana, Punjab.
  • 1999
WDG-4 locos imported and homed at Hubli.
Briganza Ghat opened to traffic [10/99] with Vasco – Madgaon – Londa services.
NDM-6 locos procured for the Matheran and Darjeeling Himalayan railways.
WDP-2 locos in service on Konkan Railway.
Jan. 11: CLW begins manufacture of 3-phase AC traction motors 6FRA 6068 for WAG-9 locos.
Jan. 11: CONCERT system of computerized reservations deployed at Mumbai.
The seventh new zone (South East Central) is approved in principle.
Apr. 12: CONCERT system of computerized reservations deployed at Chennai. The complete networked nationwide system became operational on April 18.
July 2: MRVC incorporated to execute suburban rail projects in the Mumbai area.
Sep 19: HGS 26761 hauls a train from Howrah to Tribeni and back.
Nov 10: ICF’s first stainless steel coach prototype.
Dec 2: Darjeeling Himalayan Railway becomes the second railway site in the world to be designated a World Heritage site.
New diesel locos introduced on New Jalpaiguri – Darjeeling section of the DHR.
Jan. 6: Tiruchirappalli-Dindigul BG conversion.
DLW turns out its 4000th locomotive.
Credit cards accepted for booking tickets and reservations in some stations (including Mumbai CST).
Konkan Railway begins roll-on roll-off (RORO) freight services on the Kolad-Verna section.
[Disaster] June 4: 12 killed and 60 injured when 14 coaches of the Secunderabad-bound Godavari Exp. derail near Kazipet.
[Disaster] July 16: 17 killed and 200 injured as Delhi-bound Grand Trunk Express collides with derailed wagons of a goods train near Mathura.
[Disaster] Aug. 2: The Gaisal disaster, a head-on collision between the Guwahati-bound Awadh Assam Express and the Delhi-bound Brahmaputra Mail at Gaisal in North Dinajpur district, West Bengal, kills 288 persons and injures 360. One of India’s worst rail accident ever, it was caused by a signalling and routing error that put the two trains on the same track. Only the Purushottam Exp. tragedy (1995) and the 1981 disaster of a train falling into a river were worse.

Chronology of railways in India, Part 7 (2000 – present)

  • 2000
February: Indian Railways’ web site deployed.
Feb: 10 YDM-4′s are reconditioned at Golden Rock and sent to Myanmar.
Feb. 24: CLW begins manufacturing ABB’s 6FXA 7059 3-phase traction motors.
Feb: New lightweight passenger coaches supplied by Alsthom LHB.
May 10: First WAP-7 locomotive, ‘Navkiran’, from CLW.
May 17: First indigenous WAP-5 (named ‘Navodit’) from CLW.
May: Diesel-hauling of DHR train inaugurated.
Bankura-Midnapore section electrified and MEMU services begin (June 30). MEMU services also begin on Arakkonam-Jolarpettai section (May 22).
June 30: First WAG-9H loco, ‘Navshakti’, #31030, from CLW.
Steam: Ooty ‘X’ class loco rebuilt and successfully steamed and run on trials (February). WP 7161 steamed for filming a motion picture, at Bombay; WP 7015 steamed, takes short train around New Delhi before returning to NRM (February). Steam-hauled train from Dehradun to Harrawala to commemorate the centenary of the Doon Railway (May).
CONCOR starts dedicated container services: Shalimar – Chennai, Shalimar – Hyderabad, Cossipore – New Delhi.
All-women ‘Tejaswini’ squads of ticket-checkers and police officers introduced for Mumbai suburban services.
July 23: Trichur-Ernakulam section electrified.
Oct. 30: Villupuram-Trichy linked by optical fibre telecom link.
Nov. 22: New BG line between Penukonda and Puttaparthi.
Successful trials with high-speed (100km/h) running of BOXN wagon rakes on the Gomoh-Mughalsarai section.
New bridge over Ganga at Balawali (Saharanpur-Moradabad section).
[Disaster] July 1: Howrah-Amritsar Express rams into an empty rake of the Saharanpur-Ambala Passenger between Ambala Cantt. and Ambala City after the latter stopped following a power failure. Two persons were killed. Signal and interlocking problems were cited as the reasons.
[Disaster] Dec. 2: Howrah-Amritsar Mail collides with a derailed goods train between Sarai Banjara and Sadhugarh in Punjab. 46 are killed, 130 or so injured.
  • 2001
Jan 21: Freight services between India and Bangladesh officially resumed after a gap of 25 years, on the Petrapole-Benapole BG link.
Following successful trials of the new Alstom LHB coaches at 160km/h, IR announces they will be used on the Delhi-Lucknow route (Swarna Shatabdi) (max. speed restricted to 140km/h).
Feb. 12: Second WAP-7 loco, ‘Navbharati’, #30202, commissioned.
April: DLW delivers 10 BG locomotives (WDM-2 variants) to Bangladesh, and (later) 2 WDM-2 (? reported as 2300hp locos by IR) units to Sri Lanka.
May 17: In trials, a single WAG-9 hauls a 4700t rake of 58 BOXN-HA wagons at speeds up to 100km/h on the Sonenagar-Mughalsarai section.
MAWD 1798 steamed after restoration; first run is Guwahati-Pandu.
Converted AC-DC EMU rake with Alstom electricals used in trials on Borivli-Dahanu section, and then [June 12] AC-DC EMU service is officially inaugurated on the Churchgate-Dahanu section.
Four GM GT46PAC locos, classed WDP-4, arrive at Hubli.
DLW begins indigenous production of WDG-4 locos.
IRCON bags a contract for track doubling and electrification of the Ipoh – Padang Besar line in Malaysia.
July 12: The Maitry Express begins passenger service between Bangladesh and India.
August: The Rakesh Mohan Committee submits its report, recommending splitting IR into an operations body and a regulatory body, rationalization of fares, closure of unprofitable lines, a corporate approach to finances, manpower reductions, and an aim of privatization after 15 years.
December: All rail traffic between India and Pakistan is suspended following rising tensions between the countries (the Samjhauta Express is also cancelled as part of this).
A 2300hp Cape gauge diesel locomotive is manufactured by DLW for KTM Malaysian Railways.
Pendekallu-Gooty branch line opened.
IVRS (‘Interactive Voice Response System’) for telephonic enquiries about trains introduced in some stations.
[Disaster] June 22: Several coaches of the Mangalore-Chennai Mail fall into the Kadalundi river when the bridge at Parappanangadi near Kozhikode, at the time over a hundred years old, collapses. 64 persons die.
  • 2002
Feb. 27: At least 59 persons are killed when a mainly Muslim mob sets fire to a coach carrying mostly Hindu activists in the Sabarmati Express at Godhra.
March 15: Indian Rail Archives inaugurated at the NRM.
March: South-Western Railway zone ‘inaugurated’ (but official notification of the new zone occurs in July, see below).
Jan Shatabdi trains come into service.
March 14: IR revamps classification codes for diesel locos.
April 9: First locally built WDG-4 locomotive (GM EMD GT46MAC) commissioned.
April 10: WR’s air-conditioned EMU coaches have trial run between Churchgate and Dadar.
April 16: Various celebrations on the occasion of IR’s 150th year, including steam runs with WP’s at Mumbai.
May 15: Rewari steam shed re-commissioned.
July 21: Upgraded WAP-7 trial successful.
June 4: At least 30 persons travelling in a bus are killed as it is rammed by the Kanpur-Kasganj Exp. after the bus driver forces the bus through the closed safety gate of a level crossing.
June 14: Orders passed for creation of two new railway zones: East Central and North Western.
July 6: Orders passed for creation of five new railway zones East Coast, South Western, South East Central, North Central, and West Central.
July 26: The first rake for the Delhi Metro is manufactured by Rotem, South Korea.
Aug. 3: IR begins online train reservations and ticketing over the Internet.
Sep. 17: First trial run of the Delhi Metro.
Sep. 20: Six coaches of the Kolkata-bound Teesta-Torsha Exp. derail near Mahipal station but fortunately no-one is killed or seriously injured.
Dec. 1: Internet ticket booking extended to more cities.
Dec. 14: Narrow gauge railway museum inaugurated at Nagpur.
Dec. 25: Delhi Metro opens for commercial operation.
Dec. 29: Konkan Railway conducts a trial run of the Madgaon-Roha Express at 150km/h (briefly touching 165km/h at times) using a WDP-4 loco. Also in December (confirmation needed) NR is said to have run trials with a WDP-4 hauling at train at up to 180km/h on the Ghaziabad-Tundla section.
Dec. 31: First trial run of a train run on 5% biodiesel blended fuel (Amritsar Shatabdi).
[Disaster] May 12: Thirteen coaches of the New Delhi – Patna Shramjeevi Exp. derail near Jaunpur (between Kheta Sarai and Mehrawan) while traversing a bridge, killing at least 12 passengers.
[Disaster] June 4: Thirty-four persons killed when the Kasgunj Exp. crashes into a bus at a level crossing.
[Disaster] Sep. 9: New Delhi-bound Howrah Rajdhani derails at 130km/h on a bridge near Rafiganj in Bihar. One coach plunges into the Dhavi river, others are left suspended from the bridge. 130 are killed. Sabotage is floated as a theory, but the official inquiry also brings to light engineering problems.
[Disaster] Dec. 21: At least 20 persons die after the Kacheguda/Hyderabad-Bangalore Exp. derails at 90km/h near Ramliangayapalli in Kurnool district (AP). 7 coaches overturn in the derailment.
  • 2003
Jan. 3: The Secunderabad-Manmad Exp. runs through danger signals and rams into a stationary freight train at Parli (300km west of Hyderabad), killing 14.
DLW gets another order for YDM-4 locos from Vietnam (10 units).
March: Trials conducted in the Delhi – Sarai Rohilla section for a new MG DEMU manufactured by RCF.
April: The 7 new railway zones begin functioning.
April 26: First indigenously built WDP-4 (#20011) inaugurated at DLW.
August 9: Hyderabad/Secunderabad ‘MMTS’ train services begin with 13 Lingampally-Hyderabad services and 11 Lingampally-Secunderabad services each day.
August 20: The first indigenously manufactured 4-coach rake from BEML for the Delhi Metro is commissioned.
[Disaster] Jan 3: Kacheguda-Manmad Express rams into a stationary train near Ghatnandur (Maharashtra), killing 20 persons. The driver of the express and six other officials are suspended following a report citing human error.
[Disaster] May 15: At least 38 passengers die when fire breaks out in three coaches of the Amritsar-bound Golden Temple Mail (Frontier Mail) near Ladhowal station (near Ludhiana). A kerosene stove used in a coach by some passengers is said to be the cause.
The Presidential Saloon is used after a gap of 26 years.
[Disaster] June 22: An Ahmedabad/Mumbai-bound special train from Karwar derails after hitting boulders and debris from a landslide on the tracks just after Vaibhavwadi station, Ratnagiri region. 53 passengers are killed in what is KR’s first fatal accident. KR is blamed by some for not having studied the stability of the landforms in the area adequately as well as for not patrolling the area thoroughly in the monsoon season.
[Disaster] July 2: 21 passengers of the Hyderabad-bound Golconda Exp. and several road travellers die when the train derails (locomotive and two coaches) just outside Warangal station, with the locomotive falling off the bridge and on to a road below. Brake failure coupled with overspeeding are cited as the cause.
[Disaster] Oct. 23: Seven die as five coaches of the Bangalore-bound Mysore-Bangalore push-pull train derail near Mysore. Faulty wheel discs from the Durgapur steel plant are said to be the cause.
Golden Rock’s new oil-fired ‘B’ class loco(s) for the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway built and ready for trials.
Nov. 10 : Centenary celebrations of the Kalka-Shimla Railway.
Dec. 15 : Mumbai Rajdhani starts running with the new LHB coaches.
Dec. 13-21 : Trials with weak field arrangement for MEMUs on the Tundla-Kanpur section of NCR. With a ‘dense crush load’ and stopping at all stations, a 4-car MEMU rake could decrease its total running time by 7% with a max. speed of 90km/h and 10% with a max. speed of 100km/h on the 228km section, because of the improved acceleration.
  • 2004
January: The Railway Board is expanded by the introduction of two new Member posts, for Signalling & Telecom and for Stores.
Jan. 15: Samjhauta Express resumes running between India (Attari) and Pakistan (Lahore) twice a week. The rail link agreement of Jan. 2001 is extended through Jan. 2007.
Jan. 23: BEML begins manufacture of Delhi Metro coaches.
Jan 26: Second phase of Chennai MRTS, connecting Luz and Tiruvanmiyur, begins operations.
May: Nine YDM-4 locos (ex-Sabarmati) are sold and sent to Togo Rail SA (Chemins de fer Togolais) (West Africa).
June 30: SCR operates last MG train on the Nizamabad-Manoharabad line, bringing to an end MG services started in the 1930s on the Secunderabad-Manmad line of the Nizam’s State Railways.
July 1: Chennai area MG EMU services discontinued; last MG EMU runs from Egmore to Tambaram marking the end of 73 years of these stalwart trains. Also the day of the last YAM-1 run.
July 12: First goods train from Kolkata (Calcutta) to Nepal using the Raxaul-Birgunj line.
July: SCR begins using new aerodynamically designed DEMU rakes from ICF.
July: Golden Rock workshops manufacture the second oil-fired steam loco, ‘Himanand’, for the DHR.
July: Trial runs with a diesel loco running on bio-diesel blended fuel (Trichy-Tanjor Passenger).
July 25: Two brass handles and four copper pipes were stolen from the Fairy Queen (EIR No. 22), the 149-year-old steam locomotive at the National Railway Museum, New Delhi.
August: Thane-Thurbe-Vashi EMU services begin in Mumbai.
Sep. 15: First public trial of KR’s Skybus project in Madgaon, demonstrating the vehicle moving at 40km/h for a distance of about 1km.
Sep. 15: First batch of improved flat wagons for CONCOR.
Sep. 25: KR Skybus prototype has an accident where the coach crashes into a pier; one person is killed.
Oct. : IR makes prototype standard-gauge bogies for possible export.
Nov. 1: BG EMU Services inaugurated between Chennai Egmore and Tambaram on the newly converted BG line.
Nov. 27: First successful run of Delhi Metro under ATO (first use of ATO in the country).
Dec. 19: First underground section of Delhi Metro inaugurated (Delhi University – Kashmiri Gate).
Dec. 26: Indian Ocean tsunami washes away tracks on Nagore-Nagapattinam section.
Luni-Barmer-Munabao section converted to BG in preparation for possible Munabao-Khokhraphar link between India and Pakistan.
Preliminary approval granted for Mumbai MRTS light rail project.
Gauge conversion of Purna-Akola section begins; this is the section that in 1960 first interconnected the MG networks of northern and southern India.
December: Konkan Railway being considered for merger with IR.
IR makes a move to open up the bookstall and catering business at its stations, ending the long reign ofbooksellers Higginbothams (in the south) and A H Wheeler (elsewhere) at railway stations in India.
[Disaster] June 16: Twenty killed as Mangalore-Mumbai Matsyagandha Exp. derails between Karanjadi (Roha?) and Vir (Veer) stations in Maharashtra’s Raigarh district on Konkan Railways, with the locomotive and two coaches falling off a bridge after a collision with boulders on the tracks.
[Disaster] Dec. 13: A head-on collision between the Jammu Tawi – Ahmedabad Exp. and a DMU train on the Jallandhar – Pathankot single line between Bhangala and Mirthal stations leaves 38 dead and several injured.
  • 2005
Jan.: Boarding Rajdhanis, Shatabdis, and Jan Shatabdis at intermediate points without reservations allowed.
Feb.: Chawri Bazar station of the Delhi Metro is built with new technology of pre-cast concrete blocks for the platforms.
Apr. 11: New MG AC Chair Car coaches with roof-mounted AC unit inaugurated.
Apr. 27 : Jammu Tawi – Udhampur line in Jammu & Kashmir inaugurated (dedication ceremony on April 13) and the Uttar Sampark Kranti from New Delhi to Udhampur begins running. This line was sanctioned in April, 1980.
Apr. 26: Vigyan Mail – the second incarnation of the Science Express — is flagged off from Delhi Safdarjung.
Jul. 20: Mahesana-Viramgam section opened after gauge conversion (under BOT scheme).
Jul. 21: Palitana-Sihor section opened after gauge conversion (under BOT scheme).
Aug.: IRCTC introduces E-ticketing for IR on Aug. 12; ticketing by SMS begins on Aug. 26. A Frequent Traveller scheme is also under consideration.
Aug. 12: Construction begins on Howrah Regional Railway Museum.
Oct. 17: ‘Millennium Rake’ for Mumbai suburban system inaugurated at Churchgate station.
IR undertakes cultivation of Jatropha plants for production of biodiesel.
Nov. 20: Nilgiri Mountain Railway gets UNESCO’s World Heritage Site status.
Dec. 1-7: Centenary celebrations of Howrah Station.
Dec. 31: Delhi Metro’s Barakhamba – Dwarka line opens.
Madras-Howrah route completely electrified.
[Disaster] Feb. 3 : Collision between Nagpur-bound Ramtek local and a tractor-trailer at the Bordan unmanned level crossing near Kanhan kills 55.
[Disaster] Apr. 3 : Howrah-bound Udyan Abha Toofan Exp. from Sriganganagar catches fire between Darauli and Dildarnagar stations. Five coaches are completely gutted in the blaze, but there are no casualties. The driver of a passing goods train notices the fire and alerts the driver of the Toofan Exp. who makes an emergency stop, allowing the passengers to escape.
[Disaster] Apr. 21 : Ahmedabad-bound Sabarmati Exp. from Varanasi rams into a stationary goods train at Samlaya, between Vadodara and Godhra, killing 17 passengers. Signal and interlocking failures during maintenance and a failure to follow the appropriate backup procedures are thought to have caused the mishap.
July 26: Heavy rains wash away tracks and destroy 37 bridges of the Neral – Matheran NG line and service is suspended.
[Disaster] Oct. 3 : Twelve persons killed and many injured when six coaches of the Bundelkhand Exp. derail and ram into a railway control cabin near Datia, MP.
[Disaster] Nov. 9 : Three killed and many injured as a goods train runs into a passenger train near Jharkhand’s Barwadih station, about 170km from Ranchi.
  • 2006
Feb. 15: New Delhi – Bhopal Shatabdi cleared for running at 150km/h commercial speed on the New Delhi – Agra Cantt. stretch.
Feb. 17: Thar Express service begins with the train on the Indian side running from Jodhpur to Munabao with the connecting train on the Pakistan side running from Karachi to Khokhropar to Munabao to connect.
Feb. 19: Igatpuri – Kasara section switched from DC to AC traction.
Feb.: 100km/h trials with Mumbai EMUs (however, this is not the first time trials have been conducted at these speeds).
March 24: Regular double-stacked container service (on BLCA/BLCB flat wagons) begins on the Pipavav – Jaipur route between ICD Kanakpura and Pipavav Port.
May – July: Telescopic fares withdrawn in Railway Budget and restored in July.
[Disaster] Jul. 11 : Seven bombs go off nearly simultaneously at different places on WR’s EMUs in Mumbai during the evening rush hour, killing 181 persons and injuring nearly 900.
Aug. 24 : Service on the Munabao-Khokhrapar international link to Pakistan is suspended following incessant rain and waterlogging on the Munabao-Barmer-Jodhpur section.
Oct. 5 : The first Garib Rath train begins service between Saharsa and Amritsar.
[Disaster] Nov. 10 : Ten coaches of the Surat Bhusawal Passenger derail near Kolde station in Maharashtra, with three of the coaches capsizing, resulting in 98 persons being injured.
Nov. 17: A restored N-class Garratt locomotive built by Beyer, Peacock in 1929 and used by SER until 1971 goes on a heritage run from Shalimar to Mecheda. The Beyer Garratt class was the largest locomotive ever used in India.
Nov. 20: A bomb blast in a coach of the Haldibari – New Jalpaiguri Passenger train at Belakoba station kills 8 and injures many.
Nov. 30: Deccan Queen coaches set on fire at Ulhasnagar by a mob protesting the vandalism of a statue of Dr B R Ambedkar. Coaches of a Mumbai – Karjat / Mumbai – Ambernath locals were also set on fire.
[Disaster] Dec. 2 : A 150-year-old brick and masonry bridge over a railway line collapses on a running train at Bhagalpur, killing at least 47 as the debris crushed a passenger coach. The bridge was in the process of being dismantled.
Also on Dec. 2, the locomotive of the Avadh Express is destroyed following a short-circuit induced fire at Lakheri station near Kota.
Dec. 4: The Deccan Queen is back in service after the arson attack of Nov. 30.
Dec. 10: The second Garib Rath train begins service between Rajendra Nagar and H. Nizamuddin.
Dec. 16: First BG diesel shunter loco assembled by Parel Workshops of CR.
  • 2007
Jan. 1: Trial run of the Neral-Matheran NG train from Neral to Jummapatti following reconstruction of the railway line that was washed away in 2005. The special run on New Year’s Day in advance of the resumption of full passenger services was undertaken especially because 2007 is the centenary year of the line.
Jan. 4: Private players allowed into the field of container transport operation, ending CONCOR’s monopoly.
Jan. 12: Mahaparinirvan Express, a Buddhist tourist circuit train, begins service.
[Disaster] Jan. 14: Eight killed and several injured as three wagons and a brake van of a goods train fall into a dry riverbed in Latehar district between Hehegarha and Kumundi stations of Dhanbad division.
Jan. 16: Last MG train runs on Mysore – Chamarajanagar line.
Feb. 7: Advance booking period of railway tickets changed to 90 days.
Feb. 17: The Thar Express to Pakistan resumes running. Services were halted in 2006 following heavy rain and waterlogging of the tracks.
[Disaster] Feb. 18: At least 68 passengers killed and many injured when bombs explode in the Delhi-Attari special train for passengers heading to Lahore in Pakistan by the Samjhauta Exp, at Deewana near Panipat.
Mar. 13: Service resumes on the Neral – Matheran NG line partially on the section from Neral to Jummapatti.
Apr. 9: First private container train, owned by Boxtrans Logistics, runs from Cossipore to Loni.
Apr. 11: IR announces new codes for passenger coaches (‘B-1′ for AC-3T coaches formerly designated ‘AS-1′, etc.).
Apr. 11: First long-distance trains named after a corporate brand launched. SWR granted PepsiCo the right to run three summer trains (Bangalore – Nagarkole, Bangalore – Chennai, and Bangalore – Hubli) under the name ‘Kurkure Express’ with branding by PepsiCo for its lines of snacks of that name.
Apr. 17: Maersk Line launches dedicated block train operation between Bangalore and Chennai with CONCOR, connecting to the MECL2 freight ship service from the US east coast to Chennai.
May 30: Private container train by APL (formerly American President Lines) runs from Loni to Jawaharlal Nehru Port.
[Disaster] Jun. 11: Three killed and 22 injured when 11 coaches of the Nagercoil – Howrah Gurudev Exp. derail near Duvvada station.
[Disaster] Jun. 25: Seven persons (including the driver and 6 trackmen) are killed when two locomotives and and seven wagons of a goods train fall 200 feet off a bridge between Dihakho and Mupa on the MG Lumding-Badarpur hill section of NFR.
Jun. 30: Trial runs on gauge-converted BG section Madurai – Manmadurai – Rameshwaram and Pamban Bridge.
Jul. 2: Successful trial runs on Borivli-Virar section under the track quadrupling project.
Jul. 7: Landslides following heavy rain affect the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway services in Kurseong subdivision.
Jul. 8: An Indian train (named Moitree or ‘Friendship’) arrives at Dhaka Cantonment Station on a trial run for the planned resumption of regular passenger services between Kolkata and Dhaka.
Jul. 29: The Moitree Express leaves Dhaka Cantt. for Chitpur (Kolkata).
Aug. 12: First train services on the Pamban bridge after conversion of Manmadurai-Rameshwaram to broad gauge.
Aug. 25: ‘Himalayan Princess’ diesel-hauled train joins the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway.
Aug. 25: Kashmir: Successful trial run of 24km by 7-coach diesel-hauled train on the new route linking Budgam (central Kashmir) to Kakpora (Pulwama district of Kashmir valley), at 100km/h.
Sep. 7: ‘Fairy Queen’ locomotive flagged off from Perambur Loco Works after a complete overhaul which began in 1996.
Sep. 24: Five coaches of the Avadh Express catch fire while passing through Bharuch district in Gujarat on its way from Gorakhpur to Mumbai. There were no fatalities.
Sep. 28: Latur-Usmanabad route open to traffic after conversion to broad gauge.
Oct. 19: CONCOR starts full train domestic reefer movement from the inland container depot (ICD) at Dadri. This is the first refrigerated container train on the Delhi-Mumbai route.
Nov. 1: New Salem division of SR constituted out of the existing Palakkad and Madurai divisions.
Nov. 7: SCR introduces high-speed goods train, ‘Himalaya Special’ from Secunderabad. This is intended for speedy transportation of goods such as coal. The train is expected to run at 100km/h.
Nov. 8: Mangalore station renamed to Mangalore Central; Kankanadi to Mangalore Junction.
Nov. 9: Vriddhachalam-Salem conversion to broad-gauge finished, train services start on the 18th.
Dec. 1: ‘Red Ribbon’, a special train for AIDS/HIV awareness, is flagged off.
Dec. 8: Direct train between Bangalore and Mangalore begins service.
[Disaster] Dec. 9: At least 150 people are injured, and one killed, when 14 coaches of the Brahmaputra Mail derail (with three of them turning turtle) between Rangapani and Nijbari stations about 15km from New Jalpaiguri station in West Bengal.
[Disaster] Dec. 13: A bomb goes off in the Delhi-bound Rajdhani Express at Sungajan near Dimapur, killing five persons and injuring more than 20.
[Disaster] Dec. 13: Eleven coaches of the Ahmedabad-bound Rajdhani Express derail between Sirohi and Banas near the Gujarat border. No fatalities were reported.
[Disaster] Dec. 14: The Ludhiana-Ferozepur Sutlej Express collides in dense fog with a bus at the Chuharchak Nawan level crossing in Moga District in Punjab, killing 20.
Dec. 26: Karimnagar-Jagityal railway line opened.
  • 2008
[Disaster] Jan. 6: Amritsar-Dibrugarh train derails between Basdih and Sadwar railway stations, near Ballia, affecting rail traffic in the area for a day.
Jan. 17: New weekly CONCOR train from the Whitefield (Bangalore) ICD to the Rajiv Gandhi Container Terminal of Kochi Port begun.
Mar. 7: 49 transmission lines in western Uttar Pradesh trip, forcing mass cancellations of NR trains.
Mar. 8: Hajipur railway station of ECR in Bihar becomes the first one to be staffed entirely by women.
Mar. 20: Seventeen injured when the Madurai-Kollam Fast Passenger derails at Muthusamypuram. Seven coaches jumped the tracks.
Mar. 28: Katpadi-Vellore BG track trials.
Apr. 14: First scheduled run of the Kolkata (Calcutta) – Dhaka ‘Moitree’ Express between India and Bangladesh.
Apr. 27: Trial runs on the Shahdara – Dilshad Garden line of the Delhi Metro begin, 7 months ahead of schedule.
May 1: Private companies now allowed to run parcel services on trains; Books Logistics of Bangalore is the first to use SWR trains for parcel and courier service.
May 19: ECR finishes electrification of Cuttack-Paradip, Kapilas Road – Barang, Barang – Naraj Marthapur/Nergundi, Kapilas Road – Salegaon on Cttack-Talcher branch line.
May 28: An agitation by the Gujjar ethnic group at Bayana disrupts all traffic on the busy Mumbai – New Delhi route; many passenger and freight trains routed through Bhopal.
Passenger services on the 185km MG hill section between Silchar and Lumding are disrupted for two weeks by insurgents.
Jun. 2: NR’s Jagadhri workshop rolls out the first double-decker goods train with 45 double-level wagons for carrying automobiles.
Jun. 3: Delhi Metro inaugurates 3.1km extension of Rithala-Shahdara line up to Dilshad Garden.
Jun. 4: Jammu and Kashmir railway line: A trial train from Anantnag arrives at Nowgam on the outskirts of Srinagar.
Jun. 11: Centenary of the Egmore railway station at Chennai (Madras).
Jun. 20: 12-car rakes brought into service in the Chennai area, between Chennai Beach and Chengalpattu.
Jun. 26: Stone India develops a special pantograph for high catenaries allowing double-stacked container freight movement on electrified lines.
Jun. 29: The 68km extension of the railway line from Ambassa to Agartala is done, and NFR successfully runs a light locomotive all the way to Tripura’s capital city Agartala; the line passes through a 1.85km long tunnel in the Atharamura hill range.
Jul. 7: Kalka-Shimla Railway added to UNESCO Heritage list. (Official declaration on Nov. 9.)
Jul. 6-9: Trial runs between Jakhapura and Tomka on the Jakhapura-Daitari section of East Coast Railway with electric traction under a high catenary (7.45m high) for movement of double-stacked container trains.
IR introduces stainless-steel open wagons with 11.6t capacity.
[Disaster] Aug. 1: Thirty-two passengers killed and several injured when five coaches of the Secunderabad-Kakinada Gautami Express catch fire in Warangal district of Andhra Pradesh.
Aug. 3: Foundation stone laid for Chhapra wheel factory at Bela.
[Disaster] Aug. 12: Five passengers injured when the Padmawat Express collides with the Kalindi Express from the rear; the Kalindi was running on the same track. The collision occurred between Anand Vihar and Sahibabad stations.
Aug. 12: Centralized Traffic Control with electronic interlocking and automatic signalling set up on the Ghaziabad-Kanpur section (410km).
Sep. 12: IR cancels the project, already running for 4 years, of building the world’s highest (359m) railway bridge across the Chenab, as part of the railway line to Jammu and Kashmir, following a reassessment of the stability of the geological structures in the area and their suitability for supporting a large steel arch bridge. Instead, the proposed alignment will be re-routed a longer way following the local terrain.
Sep. 17: A new route relay interlocking (RRI) system is installed at New Delhi.
[Disaster] Oct. 1: Eleven injured when the Kazipet-Hyderabad MEMU rams the stationary Wadi-Hyderabad Passenger at Lakdikapul station.
Oct. 12: Inaugural run of train services between Rajwansher in Budgam district, Srinagar, and Anantnag district in Jammu and Kashmir.
Oct. 20: WR inaugurates a heritage gallery at the headquarters building at Churchgate.
Oct. 22: The first load of container traffic from Kolkata port to Nepal moves through the new Jogbani-Biratnagar route. Container trains can move to Jogbani in northern Bihar, and the cargo is then unloaded and transported to the intermodal container freight station at Biratnagar in Nepal.
Nov. 9: Official declaration of Kalka-Shimla Railway being added to UNESCO Heritage list.
Nov. 12: Purna-Hingoli-Akola BG line commissioned; connects region with Nagpur-Mumbai and Secunderabad-Manmad main lines. Gauge conversion of this section began in 2006.
Nov. 26: Terror attacks in Mumbai, including at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (formerly Victoria Terminus).
Dec. 8: Gadag-Bagalkot section of SWR opened.
Dec. 10: Pollachi-Palakkad section closed to traffic for gauge conversion.
Dec. 12: Deshbandhu Locomotive Park at Ranchi opened to the public.
Dec. 18: High-speed trials conducted on the BG section between Erode and Tiruchi; sectional speed of trains here is expected to rise to 110km/h.
Dec. 21: IR decides to close down six ticket printing presses around the country, including the century-old press at Kurseong.
[Disaster] Dec. 21: One killed and several injured when a Kalka-Shimla holiday special train derails on its first trip of the season.
Dec. 30: Delhi Metro inaugurates a museum about the metro’s history and development at Patel Chowk station.
Loco classes WDM-3E and WDM-3F developed and brought into service.
  • 2009
Jan. 1: IR decides to get rid of the ‘side middle berths’ (SMB) from trains, following a lot of protests from travellers.
Jan. 4: A bomb goes off on the tracks between Maibongdisa and Harangajao in central Assam (North Cacchar district), damaging 3 goods wagons and disrupting traffic for some time.
[Disaster] Jan. 4: Two goods trains collide at Panki near Kanpur, leading to large-scale disruption of traffic on the Delhi-Howrah route.
Jan. 5: New Delhi – Jogbani Seemanchal Express flagged off.
Jan. 10: CR starts Thane – Nerul/Panvel suburban services via the new Turbhe-Nerul section.
[Disaster] Jan. 12: Nine goods wagons derail near Habibganj, disrupting traffic to Chennai and Mumbai for more than a day.
Jan. 12: Golden Rock develops a 3000hp Cape gauge diesel locomotive intended for export to Mozambique and other countries.
[Disaster] Jan. 17: A shunting locomotive collides with two coaches of the Chennai-bound Guruvayur Express near Tiruchi Jn., injuring four.
[Disaster] Jan. 17: The Pathankot-Delhi Express very narrowly avoids a direct collision at speed with a locomotive on the same track, near Phillaur station.
[Disaster] Jan. 27: Varanasi-bound Kashi Vishwanath Express rams into a stationary goods train at Janghai junction, 70km from Varanasi. There were no casualties.
[Disaster] Feb. 3: Two locos and some wagons of a goods train going from Nizamabad to Chinnababu Samudram (TN) derailed near Malkajgiri and ran into the compound wall of a residence. There were no casualties.
Feb. 3: Vishwavidyalaya-Azadpur-Jehangirpuri section of Delhi Metro opened.
Feb. 4: A mysterious incident in which an ‘unauthorized’ person took the New Delhi – Ranchi Garib Rath Express to Ranchi.
Feb 10: Construction work commences on the Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor, starting with a 105km section from New Ganjkhwaja near Mughalsarai to New Karwandia near Sonnagar.
[Disaster] Feb. 13: Thirteen coaches and the pantry car of the 2841 Howrah-Chennai Coromandel Express derailed while the train was running at a fairly high speed near Jajpur Road station in Orissa. There were 9 deaths and over 50 seriously injured passengers.
[Disaster] Feb. 14: Twenty passengers injured as the Bettiya-Muzaffarpur Passenger collides head-on with the Raxaul-Sugauli Passenger at Sugauli Junction on the Narkatiyaganj-Muzaffarpur section of ECR in Bihar.
Mar. 10: First batch of stainless-steel EMU coaches delivered by Titagarh Wagons.
Mar. 19: Golden jubilee celebrations of IRICEN, Pune.
Apr. 1: Golden Rock Workshop delivers first BG shunter made by converting an MG locomotive, classed ‘WCDS-6′.
Apr. 12: A bomb suspected to be set by Maoist rebels goes off derailing a security pilot locomotive ahead of the Kolkata-Dibrugarh Kamrup Express on the Karbi Anglong district.
Apr. 16: Two coaches of the Patna – Gaya Passenger train catch on fire at Patna; no casualties.
Apr. 21: Maoist rebels explode bombs at the Untari railway station under the Garwa Road – Dehri Onsole division.
Apr. 22: About 200 Naxal rebels hijack the Gomoh-Mughalsarai-Bondamunda Passenger going from Barkakana to Mughalsarai with 700 passengers on board, and release them and the train after a five-hour standoff at Hehegara in Jharkhand’s Latehar district.
Apr. 23: Chiyanki station in Palamau district is attacked by Maoist rebels.
Apr. 29: ‘Unauthorized’ person drives a Chennai suburban train from the Moore Market Complex through Basin Bridge, colliding with a goods train at Vyasarpadi Jiva, killing 4.
May 10: Indraprastha – Yamuna Bank extension of Line 3 of Delhi Metro opens.
May 22: Trials for phase II of the Delhi Metro main line, between Sector 9 of Dwarka and Dwarka Station.
May 23: Neral-Matheran steam run with ex-DHR ‘B’ class loco.
Jun. 9: First indigenously-built metro train-set manufactured by Vadodara plant of Bombardier.
Jul. 29: Trial runs of first standard-gauge lines of Delhi Metro (Inderlok-Mundka).
Aug. 1: ‘Izzat’ scheme launched allowing steeply discounted travel for poor commuters.
Aug. 22: Tollygunge – Kavi Nazrul Islam (Goria Bazaar) metro train service starts in Kolkata.
Aug. 29: Mangalore-Bangalore day train services resume after 14 years – they were discontinued in September 1995 when gauge conversion of the line was taken up.
Sep. 11: First indigenously built standard-gauge metro train-set for Delhi Metro, by BEML.
Sep. 11-14: First runs of the Tej Shree Parcel Sewa guaranteed transit timetabled parcel services by NR – Tughlakabad-Vapi (Sep. 11) and Tughlakabad-Howrah (Sep. 14).
Sep. 18-28: First ‘Duronto’ non-stop expresses launched. Sep. 18 – Howrah – H. Nizamuddin, Sep. 21 – Chennai – H. Nizamuddin, Sep. 28 – Mumbai-Howrah and Pune – H. Nizamuddin.
[Disaster] Oct. 8: One killed, several injured as the locomotive and six coaches of the Amrapali Express derail near Pasaraha station in northern Bihar’s Khagaria district.
[Disaster] Oct. 21: 21 killed, several injured as the Delhi-bound Goa Sampark Kranti Express rams into the rear of the stationary Mewar Express near Mathura station.
Oct. 27: New Delhi-bound Bhubaneshwar Rajdhani Express is detained and all passengers and crew held hostage for nearly 7 hours by a Maoist group at Bansala near Jhargram town in West Bengal’s Paschim Medinipur district.
Oct. 28: The 18km Anantnag-Qazigund section in Kashmir is inaugurated. It includes the country’s highest BG station, Qazigund, at 1722m (5166′) above sea level. This completes the 119-km Qazigund-Baramulla portion of the Kashmir Rail Link project.
Oct. 30: Foundation stone laid for new BG line construction between Sevoke in West Bengal and Rangpo in Sikkim.
Oct. 31: Trials conducted with a YDM-4 diesel locomotive hauling 5 coaches on the Nilgiri Mountain Railway line, between Mettupalaiyam and Hillgrove stations.
Nov. 12: Delhi Metro extends service to NOIDA, from Akshardham station to Noida City Centre.
[Disaster] Nov. 14: 7 killed and many injured as Jodhpur-Delhi Mandore Express derails near Bansko station in Jaipur district of Rajasthan.
[Disaster] Nov. 17: A goods train carrying petroleum products catches fire near Changpool in Golaghat district in Assam.
[Disaster] Nov. 19: 2 killed, many injured as the locomotive and 8 coaches of the 321 Up Tata-Bilaspur Passenger derail following an explosion between Posoita and Monoharpur on the Chakradharpur-Rourkela section of SER in Jharkhand; sabotage is suspected.
Dec: Initial construction started on gauge conversion of Lunding-Silchar-Jiriban and Badarpur-Kumarghat lines in Assam. Also survey work for Sevok to Rangpo in Sikkim.
  • 2010
[Disaster] Jan. 2: Gorakhdam Exp. heading to Gorakhdham rams into stationary Prayagraj Exp. headed to Allahabad, near Panki in dense fog, killing 10.
[Disaster] Jan. 2: Lichchavi Exp. rams into stationary Magadh Exp. near Sarai Bhupat station, near Etawah, again in dense fog, critically injuring some.
[Disaster] Jan. 3: All seven coaches of the Murkongselek-Rangiya Passenger train derailed between Helem and Nij Bogaon (about 70km from Rangiya) in Assam. No deaths were reported.
Jan. 26: Trial run of a 108m-long section of the proposed Mumbai Monorail project, at Wadala.
Feb. (?) WDP-4B locomotive production begun.
[Disaster] Mar. 22: Seven coaches and the locomotive of the Bhubaneshwar – New Delhi Rajdhani Express derail after Maoist guerillas blow up the tracks between Paraiya and Kastha in the Gaya-Mughalsarai section.
Mar. 31: First air-conditioned double-decker coach, from RCF.
Apr. 1: Rail link to Vallarpadam International Container Transshipment Terminal (ICTT) opened to traffic. (Includes the longest (4.62km) railway bridge in the country.)
Apr. 2: First standard-gauge metro line inaugurated – the Inderlok-Mundka section (‘Green Line’) of the Delhi Metro.
May 14: Trial runs on Sultanpur – Qutub Minar section of Delhi Metro.
May: (International) Construction begins on a new 75-km railway in Afghanistan between the existing short spur from Termez in Uzbekistan to Mazar-i-Sharif, expected to be completed by September.
[Disaster] May 16: Two dead and several injured in a stampede at New Delhi station.
[Disaster] May 25: Several passengers injured as Guwahati-bound Rajdhani Express derails at Amba halt between Kharik and Naugachia stations in Bihar.
[Disaster] May 28: The Mumbai-bound Jnaneshwari Express derails between Khemasuli and Sardiha stations near Jhargram in West Midnapore – sabotage is thought to be the cause; subsequently a goods train heading in the opposite direction rams into the derailed coaches, resulting in around 150 deaths.