Saturday, October 1, 2011

Heritage Railway Stations of India, India

I was a bit doubtful when preparing this update, regarding what to put and what to exclude, but in the end I decided that it would be the best if I just placed all I had regarding this issue....in case you have something additional belonging to it, feel free to contact me :)


and these are the first Indian stamps featured here as well....so Im glad to have the chance to present you this stuff.

As the title says, this issue presents the Heritage Railway Stations of India and consists of 4 stamps, as you can see above...the stations represented are as follows:
- top left corner shows Howrah Station (one of the four intercity train stations serving Howrah and Kolkata) - bottom left corner shows the Old Delhi Station ( the first railway station to be built in Delhi)
- top right corner shows the Chennai Central Station (the main railway terminus in the city of Chennai and home of the Southern Railway and the most important rail hub in South India)
- bottom right corner shows the Mumbai CST Station (is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and historic railway station in Mumbai which serves as the headquarters of the Central Railways. It is one of the busiest railway stations in India, and serves both as a terminal for long distance trains terminating in Mumbai as well as the Mumbai Suburban Railway)



I was happy to receive this Special Cover for this issue, commemorating the Frontier Mail from Bombay to Peshawar via Baroda.

The Bombay, Baroda and Central India Railway (BB&CI Rly) was a company incorporated in 1855 to undertake the task of constructing a railway line between Bombay and Baroda in India. Baroda (Vadodara) was a part of historic BBCl Railway. The first train came to Baroda on 9th January 1861 and the city was connected with Broach and Surat. In 1863 BB&CI Railway completed the Surat-Baroda-Ahmedabad line. Bombay (Grant Road) was connected with Baroda in 864 via Navsari and Bulsar. By 1879 Baroda was connected with Delhi via Palanpur, Ajmer, Jalpur and Alwar. On 5th November, 1951 the BB&CI Railway was merged with the Saurashtra, Rajputana and Jaipur railways to give rise to the Western Railway.

The frontier mail was flagged off on 1st September 1928, from Colaba Terminus, the main station on the BB&CI Railway. It was the first luxurious and prestigious train in the Indian Subcontinent. The radio facility was provided for the first time in a running train in India and it was also the first fastest train of India. After Independence, it is running between Mumbai and Amritsar. The train has now been renamed "Golden Temple Mail".




And Im honoured to have not one, but TWO fantastic FDC copies...since the stamp's arrangement is different, i can freely consider them as different and equally important for my collection!
One arrived as a lovely surprise from Laura, and the other one arrived from Som.



Indian Railways has stood as an emblem of progress spanning over 150 years. In this period, it catalyzed India's industrialization and has emerged as a lifeline of India's development. Some railway structures are monumental in nature representing significant developments in architecture and technology. On 15.08.1854 a train ran from Howrah to Panduah. This Heritage Run is commemorated by the release of a set of four stamps representing four Heritage Railway Stations in India.
A plan for railway in India was first put forward in 1832. In 1844, the Governor-General of India allowed private entrepreneurs to set up a rail system. The first train became operational on 22nd December 1851 in Roorkee. On 16th April 1853, the first passenger train ran between Bori Bunder, Bombay and Thane, covering 21 miles. The rail network then developed rapidly, radiating from Bombay, Madras, Calcutta and Delhi.
Railways in India were patrons of a style that combined the prestige and relevance of train travel with imaginative innovations of engineering. They were designed with grandeur and dedicated to the customer for eternity. Also, the four Metro Stations - Kolkata, Mumbai, Chennai and Delhi were monumental in scale, striking architectural creations of the 19th century, innovatively designed and incorporated local traditions and craftsmanship. They became a focal point of each city. With the coming of the Railways, there came up railway stations, Railway companies vied with each other to build imposing railway station buildings.
In 1853, India's first train should have started from Howrah but the ship bringing the coaches sank in the river Hoogly and the steam locomotive was mis-dispatched to Australia. It opened in 1854 as the first in the East and amongst the first few stations in India, as a temporary tin shed, for just two pairs of trains, a small booking office and one line along a narrow platform. The first train of the East Indian Railway, driven by Joshua Greenbo, ran from Howrah to Hoogly on 15th August 1854, a distance of 24 miles. This led to India's 1st commercial railway goods corridor from Howrah to Raniganj. The present day station became a necessity with increasing number of trains and opening of the Bengal Nagpur Railway from Howrah in 1900.
From humble beginning for just 5 carriages of only one train, Howrah Station now is among the largest railway stations in the world, catering to all major cities in India, handling over a million passengers a day through 23 platforms and over 300 pairs of trains. From within its magnificent archaic structure, huge crowds and the olden day charm of this great monument make this a wonderful destination. It became and still remains a gateway to the entire eastern and northeastern India.
The first imposing heritage station of the Railway's came up with the Victoria Terminus, housing the office of the Great Indian Peninsular Railway Company. This building was started in 1878 and it was completed and thrown open to the public on New Year's day 1888. The ceiling are very high and exude a sense of space and freedom. The magnificent monument was designed by F.W. Stevens. The decorative carved detail was executed by native carvers from models supplied by Mr.Gomez and the students of the Bombay School of Art. The buildings are faced with a light buff coloured Coorla stone with dressings, cornices and moldings in Porbandar and Seoni stones. The total cost of the whole building was about Rs.27 lakhs. All the work was entirely executed by indigenous labour. In quick succession came the large and imposing station buildings at Madras and Howrah. The landmark in Madras Central Station is the Victorian Clock Tower.The Howrah Station has a predominance of arches with a touch of contemporary British architecture and local trappings. Railways came to Delhi with the establishment of the imposing Old Delhi Railway Station constructed in 1867. The building has several Gothic features. The two-story building has deep verandas on both floors and though the original building is in a good condition, many modifications and additions have since been done. Semi-octagonal turrets rise from the corners of the building.

Date of issue: 16 August 2009
Denomination: 5.00 INR (each stamp)
Width             57.0 mm
Height             32.0 mm

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