Traveling on the Indian railways is a joyful experience. The rail network in India was first introduced back in 1853. Furthermore, to say that since then, they have been the lifeline of the nation would not be so wrong. The rail tracks and trains in India cover a maximum of the land area. Every day, thousands of people and loads of cargo are transported around the nation. Therefore, it goes without saying that they charge the apt money for such services. We know that everything comes at a price, and so is traveling via train. To travel via train without a ticket is a crime. However, you’d be astounded to note that there is a train in India that has been giving free rides to travelers. That, too, for over 73 years now. Sounds unbelievable? Read on to enlighten yourself about it.
Know About The Bhakra-Nangal Train In India
It might sound too good to be true, but plenty of passengers have been enjoying free rides on a special Indian train. Yes, it is none other than the Bhakra-Nangal train. In order to travel on this special train, no one requires money. Furthermore, this train runs through the borders of Punjab and Himachal Pradesh. This train travels 13 kilometers across the Shivalik Hills and crosses the Sutlej River. In addition, it is primarily used by commuters to travel between Nangal and Bhakra.
Talking about the one who operates this railway is the (BBMB) Bhakra Byas Management Board. The train initially started operating back in 1948. Why? Because at that time, the construction of the Bhakar Nangal dam was taking place. Therefore, a special means of transportation was essentially required both for the heavy machinery and staff. Hence, it was decided to lay a railway track on the route.
More About The Origin Of This Special Train
What is worth noting is that, at first, the train was powered using steam engines. However, with the advent of time, it was replaced by three new engines imported from America in 1953. And although Indian Railway has since launched five variants of the engine, this special train continues to run with its 60-year-old engines.
What marks the vintage feature of this train is that its seats are made of colonial-era wooden benches. In addition, its coaches are extremely distinctive and were made in Karachi. The heritage Bhakar-Nangal train, in total, covers a distance of 13 kilometers.
Interestingly, this free ride feature of the Bhakar-Nangal train can also be used by tourists that visit the Bhakra-Nangal Dam. Daily commuters, BBMB employees, school students, and visitors still travel via this train.
Its chief operator, BBMB, once considered canceling the free ride due to financial constraints. However, it was later realized that this train holds a lot more importance than just as a means of transport and source of income. The Bhakra-Nangal train represents the heritage and legacy of India and the Indian railways.
Did you know about this train in India? What are your thoughts about the free ride? Do tell us via the comments below.