The first ‘ladies special’ train in the world, started between Churchgate and Borivali stations on the Western Railway (WR), completed 26 years on Saturday, an official said.
It was on May 5, 1992, that the WR had introduced a suburban train service to ferry only women passengers between the two stations. Initially, there were only two daily services, but the number has now gone up to eight services a day.
“Dedicating an entire train to women commuters has gone down in the annals of history and the WR has become the torch-bearer for other Railways,” WR chief spokesperson Ravinder Bhakar said.
“It is nothing less than a milestone that dedicating an entire train exclusively for women commuters for so many years has undoubtedly helped over one million-plus Mumbai women commuters to travel safety to and from their homes and workplaces,” he added.
The ladies special train service was later extended up to Virar in 1993, a statement issued by the WR said. “Since then, the train has been serving lakhs of women commuters daily, which is now considered a milestone for any suburban transport system in the world. Running successfully for 26 years on one of the busiest suburban lines is considered a blessing by all female travellers,” it added.
Currently, WR runs four services in the morning peak hours originating from Borivali, Bhayandar, Vasai Road and Virar stations that terminate at Churchgate and another four in the evening peak hours from Churchgate to Borivali, Bhayandar and Virar (two services) stations.
Following in the footsteps of WR, the Central Railway (CR) also introduced suburban services exclusively for the women commuters on July 1, 1992 between Chhattrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) and Kalyan. The CR runs four full and 24 partial ladies special services between CSMT and Kalyan corridor, CSMT-Panvel corridor on the Harbour line.
WR seeks feedback to improve services
Women travelling in ladies coaches on the Western Railway will now issue a report card for the zone on its amenities for them, officials said on Saturday. To mark 26 years of the first ladies special suburban train, WR has decided to take feedback from women passengers on how they can improve its services for them. “We will be distributing a feedback form to the women commuters and take their opinion to improve our services, specially in terms of maintaining security. Senior officials of the zone will also be interacting with them,” Western Railways spokesperson Ravinder Bhakar said.