India’s oldest train Punjab Mail back on track, set for a makeover - ECAS Punjab

India’s oldest train Punjab Mail back on track, set for a makeover

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Sukhmeet Bhasin
Tribune News Service
Bathinda, December 19

The 108-year-old "Punjab Mail" is back on track once again. India's oldest train is all set for a makeover.

This train runs from Ferozepur to CST Mumbai, and is known as the lifeline for the passengers from Malwa Region in Punjab going to Delhi or cities en route till Mumbai.

The train was suspended due to the nationwide lockdown. It restarted from December 1. Railway officials have also decided to replace its rakes—made by the Integral Coach Factory (ICF)—with Linke Hofmann Busch (LHB) coaches, which are faster, and more efficient.

A senior railway official, on anonymity, revealed, that ICF coaches are conventional passenger coaches used on the majority of the mainline trains in India.

LHB coaches are developed by the Linke-Hofmann-Busch in Germany, but mostly, are produced by the Rail Coach Factory in Kapurthala in Punjab.

LHB coaches can travel at a much higher speed than ICF coaches. Maximum speed for LHB coaches is 160 kmph, while ICF

coaches run at the speed of 110 kmph.

Moreover, LHB coaches are equipped with controlled discharge toilets- bio-toilets. They also use an Advanced Pneumatic Disc Brake system for efficient braking at a higher speed.

Earlier, the 'Punjab Mail' was called 'Punjab Limited', and it was steamed out on June 1, 1921, from Mumbai, heading for Peshawar—now in Pakistan.

Before Partition, the train ran from Ballard Pier Mole station in Mumbai to Peshawar, covering a distance of 2,496 km in 47 hours.

In 1914, this train started departing from Victoria Terminus presently known as Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus.

After the Indo-Pak partition, Ferozepur Cantt railway station was made as to the terminal station.

It was known to be the fastest train of British India.

The 'Punjab Mail' was a subject of a couple of eponymous films released in 1939 and 1958, besides featuring in several stories and some Indian novels.



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