East Indian Railway’s Early Steam Loco British India, 1890 PC

early east indian railway locomotive

British India era’s East Indian Railway’s early steam loco is shown in this 1890 photo postcard. The photo was taken probably in Calcutta or Howrah station. The steam locomotive was supplied by Stothert, Slaughter, and Company of England between 1850 to 1855. It also had a contemporary the Fairy Queen, manufactured by Kitson, Thompson, and Hewitson, from around the same period.

A locomotive akin to the one pictured here named the “Express” is displayed at a Railway Museum at Howrah. In 1857, the locomotive was used to carry troop trains and may have played a key role in the crushing of the Indian rebellion. The first passenger train steamed out of Howrah station bound for Hooghly on August 15th, 1854.

Thus the first section of the East Indian Railway (EIR) was opened to public traffic, inaugurating the beginning of railway transport on the eastern side of India. This 1854 EIR first train run would have preceded even the first train from Bombay to Thana in 1853. However, due to unfortunate circumstances, the East Indian Railway lost out in this race. Read more 166 Years of IR: How the Seeds Were Sown in 1831.

Did you know – that on the East Indian Railway’s first train run, about 3000 applicants vied for tickets but most of them went back disappointed. 

Past posts – Raja Ravi Varma’s Portrait Photo – Old Postcard 1904., The Government Secretariat Bombay -2 Photos 1875.