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It was a sunny morning on the 15th August, 1854 when the wheels of the East Indian Railway train turned for the first time on its inaugural commercial run. The wheels have now gathered momentum, stood the test of time.


The Symphony of Progress” presents to the reader the memorable events in the historic journey of Eastern Railway. The facts, figures, dates, documents and a photographs had to be properly collected from authentic sources, collated and written about. This has been achieved by the ardent and dedicated team work of Shri Pradeep Kumar, Dy. General Manager and Heritage Officer, Eastern Railway and Shri Soumitra Majumdar, Chief Public Relations Officer, Eastern Railway. Shri A. Rama Rao, retd. COPS, Eastern Railway has valuable contributions with his rich collections of articles, photographs and documents.


            The main idea behind the book is to illustrate and describe especially with photographs the historical, geographical, technological and social evolution of Eastern Railway over its glorious 150 years. The book also contains a section depicting stamps and special covers collected by Shri Mohd. Mujibullah, our Heritage Assistant and renowned philatelist.


            Railways have played a significant part in shaping the history of India during the British period. IR continued to play a vital role in national integration, economic and industrial development and technological progress in the independent India. I am sure that this book will be of great interest to everyone connected with the railways both in India and abroad.


            I take this opportunity to thank all the past and present employees whose collective efforts and cooperation have been instrumental in shaping and developing this book.




Shri S. C. Sengupta,                            

General Manager,

Eastern Railway,

17 N.S. Road,

Kolkata – 700 001.