20 June 2011

Curtains down on India's first railway bridge

Published: Monday, Jun 20, 2011, 0:46 IST
By Rajendra Aklekar | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA

Yet another piece of national railway heritage on its way to history. The iconic stone and masonry Thane creek bridge, popular for the much-publicised photograph of the first train in India, is set to go out of public view forever.

As Central Railway prepares to lay new lines along the Thane creek bridge, the legendary bridge on which the first train ran will get covered on both sides with new structures, obliterating its view completely. “The foundation pillars for the new bridge are already in place and the girders are getting ready. The bridge will carry two new lines between Thane-Diva. It is important to connect the lines between Kurla-Thane to the lines between Kalyan-Diva so that there is seamless travel between Kurla to Kalyan ,” a senior official said. The lines are being laid along the slow corridor.

The 158-year-old Thane creek bridge has been historically linked to the opening of the first railway line in the country and the famous sepia-toned photograph of a 14-coach steam engine pulled train is quite popular.

There are six pairs of lines between Kalyan to Diva and between Thane to Kurla. The railways are now filling the gap between Diva to Thane under the World Bank-funded Mumbai Urban Transport Project.“Who would have thought in those days that the Thane creek bridge would one day carry six lines and ferry lakhs of passengers, becoming the most important rail link,” chief spokesperson Vidyadhar Malegaonkar said.

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