15 November 2010

Tracks of the Empire

Political commentator and popular British broadcaster John Sergeant embarks on a unique 3,000 mile journey across India to discover how the lifeblood of the country – its railways – can be used to track an extraordinary history. 

Travelling the length and breadth of the country, John meets the people closest to the railways and, through their shared experiences, brings this captivating journey alive.

These are the pics of the shoot in Mumbai. The site above is the Dhobi talao at Mahalaxmi where linen from trains is washed.

It was about how the Indian Railways is supporting local industries.

The second photo is from Dharavi in Mumbai where leather pouches for cash collection are made for  northern and north western railway.

16 August 2010

Rare photo of Thane station

A very rare photograph of Thane station, borrowed from a book Thane history written by Prof Dawood Dalvi. The station an integral part of India's railway heritage of the Great Indian Peninsula Railway. The photograph has also been displayed at several exhibitions at Town Hall in Thane.
Thane, west side of station

15 August 2010

1857 plaque and gas lamps saved from scrap

1857 was the year when the Indian Mutiny was fought.. It was also the year when the Great Indian Peninsula Railway began the construction of a road over bridge over India's first railway line... The connect is deadly and the romance of the same old line and the bridge remained for more than 150 years.

In August 2009, the bridge was brought down. But managed to save some elements from the scrap torch to remain as memoirs for ever... It was a tough battle, but worth it. A year later, they are resting in the railway museum at Mumbai CST...
- Rajendra B. Aklekar.

25 March 2010

Old arched bridge under suburban station in city

A beautiful 22-arch stone bridge was found under Bhandup railway station by the writer on the country's oldest railway line between Mumbai and Thane during the construction of additional 5th and 6th railway line corridor. The bridge has now been buried under a newly-built drain. It has been extensively documented.

-Rajendra B. Aklekar, Mumbai

15 March 2010

An old plaque at Dadar station

An old plaque found at the busy Dadar railway station. Dadar lies on one of the oldest lines of Indian Railways. The readings on the plaque are not quite clear, but it is dated recently around 1960s and made in India. It is probably the date of re-modelling the station structure.

--Rajendra Aklekar, Mumbai

30 January 2010

Old rail lines can save city’s water supply pipes

OLD timers and city historians are blaming Mumbai’s municipal corporation for the frequent breaking of pipelines saying that the corporation had forgotten one of its fool-proof and traditional methods of regular maintenance started by the British.

Recalling that when the British begun laying the pipelines in the mid-1850s, they had also laid a network of narrow gauge rail tracks and a small rail vehicle parallel to the pipeline network for its regular maintenance and upkeep.

Today, the rail lines are either buried or pulled out and sold as scrap and the rail vehicles and locomotives languish at BMC’s pumping station at Ghatkopar in north-east Mumbai.

Mumbai’s water works is unique in more ways than one. It ranks among the largest water supply undertakings in the world and its sources are at a greater distance (about 110km) than those of many water systems. Mumbai was the first city in India to receive piped water supply in 1860.

Rajendra B.Aklekar