Western Railway celebrated its 70th Foundation Day on 5th November, 2020, with elegance & glory over entire WR, along with re-iteration of the commitment for best services always for its valued customers.
On this historical day several railway stations, Headquarter and Divisional buildings and Heritage Locomotives were specially decorated with beautiful lights, planting of saplings at HQ & Divisional offices were carried out as a noble and environment friendly gesture.
To commemorate this special event and in order to highlight the rich & glorious past of WR, a special media campaign was also launched. As a part of this campaign, small videos on heritage of WR and web cards on places of pilgrimage over WR were shared on various social media platforms.
On this glorious occasion, Foundation Day ceremony was organised, which was live streamed on YouTube. This ceremony was graced by Alok Kansal- General Manager of Western Railway and Tanuja Kansal- President of Western Railway Women’s Welfare Organisation.
According to a press release issued by Sumit Thakur – Chief Public Relations Officer of Western Rly, to mark this historical occasion, 70th Foundation Day function was organised at Rail Nikunj hall of Mumbai Central in the evening of 5th November, 2020.
After lit the lamp with other officials Alok Kumar – Additional General Manager of Western Railway, in his opening address, elucidated on how the officers and staff have kept the wheels of WR moving even during the difficult times of Covid-19 when the world was struggling. This was followed by a short film on the remarkable achievements of WR in the year 2020-2021.
This short film showcased how WR converted the crisis of Covid 19 into opportunities. It’s worth mentioning that during the lockdown period number of infrastructural developments like construction of ROBs / RUBs, Foot Over Bridges etc. were carried out over WR & works to augment the line capacity, as well as increase the speed of freight and passenger trains were also carried out.
Another short film on glorious heritage & rich past alongwith Evolution & Growth of WR was shown portraying that how starting from the humble beginning of laying of 29 mile broad gauge line from Ankleshwar to Utran in Gujarat in the year 1855, led to the development of the present network 6500 Route Kms of WR.
The film also highlighted the evolution of electric locos from steam locos and how WR has kept pace with the growing needs of the people for faster and speedier travel. What started as service with 3 coach train, gradually increased and now even 15 coach services are being operated on WR’s Mumbai Suburban section. Western Railway’s contribution to social as well as economic development of the country, was also highlighted in the films.
On this glorious occasion, several infrastructure works for the benefit of WR’s employees were inaugurated through digital medium by Shri Alok Kansal General Manager of Western Rly. In this, railway colonies were inaugurated at several locations viz 24 units at Umargam station, 44 units at Udhna station of Mumbai Central Division.
Eight units were inaugurated at Ratlam. Eight quarters was inaugurated for Gatekeepers and Trackmen at Aliyawada station of Rajkot Division and Ten quarters for Trackmen at Virpur station of Bhavnagar Division. Six quarters were inaugurated for the benefit of RPF staff at Ankleshwar in Vadodara Division.
A Permanent Way office was also inaugurated for Section Engineers at Viramgam station of Ahmedabad Division. In continuation to this, three new wards, a new pathology lab and a new dispensary was also inaugurated at Jagjivan Ram Hospital.
Thakur further stated that Western Railway had organised a slogan competition for the officers and staff of WR. Officers and employees whole heartedly participated in the slogan competition and a very good response was received for the same.
The slogans were organised in Hindi and English categories with the theme being ‘Western Railway’. Three prizes were declared for each category and the winners were awarded with cash prizes and merit certificate through virtual means by WR GM Alok Kansal and WRWWO President Tanuja Kansal.
On the occasion of the Foundation Day celebration, Kansal spoke about how we are witness to the development of Western Railway in the 7 decades. He congratulated all the officers and staff for their dedication towards their work and achievements made by WR.
He said that WR’s parcel trains ran despite labour constraints faced during the time of the covid pandemic and WR ensured uninterrupted transport of essential commodities and medical supplies through its parcel special trains. He apprised that Shramik special trains were also run for the benefit of migrant labourers and lakhs of food packets were distributed free of cost during the crisis.
Kansal said that even now various special trains and festival special trains are being operated by WR for the benefit of passengers, especially to clear the rush during festive season. He stated that Business Development Units have been set up at Headquarters and all the six Divisions of WR and various incentives are offered to the freight transporters.
This is done to increase the transportation by rail and thereby increasing the freight revenue. Shri Kansal said that we have to continue with our fight against Covid 19. He also said that they should adhere to the clarion call of Prime Minister of being ‘ATMANIRBAR’.
Kansal concluded about proud to be heading such an exemplary organisation. The function was followed by virtual cultural programme “Bhairav se Bhairavee tak”. During the function, special greeting messages of Sharif Pathan- President of Western Railway Mazdoor Sangh and J R Bhosle- General Secretary of Western Railway Employees Union were also displayed digitally in which they both wished WR to scale newer heights. Besides this, Face masks commemorating the Foundation Day were distributed among housekeeping and cleaning staff across Western Railway. Display banners commemorating the 70th Foundation Day were displayed and jingles were played on all important stations.
In an interesting way to celebrate the day, a caller tune “Dhadak Dhadak” has been made for all WR employees having official mobile numbers. Earlier during the day, Kansal planted saplings at Headquarter premises at Churchgate to boost the initiative of green environment. At the divisional offices too, respective Divisional Railway Managers and railway officials participated in the tree plantation drive.
Thakur stated that Western Railway has been a pioneer in many areas. Right from the introduction of world’s 1st ladies special train, 1st 15 car suburban train and introduction of 1st fully air-conditioned suburban train in India, it has earned many firsts in various fields such as Operations, Safety and in adopting state of the art Technology. W. Rly has time and again proved its mettle, through its long journey, ever since its birth in the British era in 1850s.
It came into its present form on 5th November, 1951 after independence with the merger of its forerunner, the erstwhile Bombay, Baroda and Central India Railway (BB&CI) , with other State Railways viz Saurashtra, Rajputana and Jaipur and on the 5th of November 2020, WR celebrated its 70th Foundation Day with great pride.