The Punjab Mail, India’s oldest train, which was started with just three passenger bogies, completed 106 years today (June 1, 2018).
It was in the mid-19th century, around 1853 when the first rail was introduced by the British.
Interestingly, the origins of the Bombay to Peshawar Punjab Mail is unclear.
On the basis of a written complaint of late arrival by a passenger, it has been more or less inferred that the Punjab Mail made her maiden run out of Ballard Pier Mole station on June 1, 1912.
In those days, the Punjab Mail used to run on the Great Indian Peninsular route covering 2,496 km in about 47 hours. There were fixed days from Bombay’s Ballard Pier Mole Station to Peshawar.
It was one of the most prestigious trains, with a passenger corridor car capacity of just 96 people.
The train was meant primarily for only the upper class with a specific compartment for the luggage and servants, but by the mid-1930s, third class cars started appearing.
Presently, the Punjab Mail, which travels between Mumbai Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) and Firozpur Cantonment, covers the distance of 1930 kilometres in 34 hours, while in the reverse direction the train covers the distance from Firozpur Cantonment to Mumbai CST in 33 hours 55 minutes.