Logistics

130-year-old ‘Century Express’ chugs into pages of history

PTI Lucknow | Updated on January 20, 2018 Published on May 15, 2016

Aishbagh-Sitapur-Mailani-Pilibhit section has been closed for gauge conversion and there would be no trains henceforth on the metre gauge, the brainchild of Lord Mayo, then Viceroy of India, based on calculations to allow four persons to sit abreast comfortably.





A popular passenger train - Century Express - chugged into the pages of history as a 130-year-old Britsh era metre-gauge track here was closed for conversion into broad gauge.

On its last trip, the Aishbagh-Sitapur passenger train running from Lucknow to Mailani via Sitapur was given a warm send off by hundreds of passengers and onlookers.

“From today, the Century Express will run no more,” said a young commuter while displaying a selfie he took for posterity when the train embarked on its last journey on Saturday.

North Eastern Railway (NER) PRO Alok Srivastava said the train was started in 1,885 and all the 32 railway employees attached to the train in various capacities were present on its farewell journey.

The train was popular among local passengers, vendors and especially young “love birds” passing their time in a remote corner of a desolate compartment, away from the prying eyes of the public.

These trains transported 10,000 litre milk from Sitapur to Lucknow everyday. “It will be difficult to transport such a huge quantity everyday by bus,” said a vendor.

Aishbagh-Sitapur-Mailani-Pilibhit section has been closed for gauge conversion and there would be no trains henceforth on the metre gauge, the brainchild of Lord Mayo, then Viceroy of India, based on calculations to allow four persons to sit abreast comfortably.

Ten other meter-gauge trains including Rohillkhand Express, Nainital Express, Agra Fort, Aishbagh-Tinsukia, Aishbagh-Mailani and Aishbagh-Pilibhit passenger, will cease to run on the track as a result of the gauge conversion.

As everybody knew it was the last run of the metre-gauge train, they all cheered its last passengers at BKT Railway Station, which witnessed a historical moment.

Jostling crowds, some with baskets packed with fruits, especially watermelons which are a speciality of Bakshi Ka Talab (BKT), and others with balloons in perfect colour combination and sweet boxes were at the platform. It appeared as if a VIP was arriving.

The railway station established in 1886 was also cleaned thoroughly to receive the train which was earlier given a ‘shahi’ bath.

People decorated the platform with balloons, distributed water bottles to passengers, gave mementos to crew and also took selfies with the train.

Emotional scenes were witnessed at the station when the metre gauge train began its last journey from the century-old railway station.

Locals and railway staffers crowded the station to bid farewell to the last train and be a part of the historical moment.

Published on May 15, 2016
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor