2010: A Test Run for India’s First Monorail System in Nearly a Century

January 26, 2010

A test run was conducted for a monorail system still very much under development at the time in the city of Mumbai, the capital of western India’s state of Maharashtra. (A monorail is a railway in which the trains travel on a single track or beam.) This initial test run for Mumbai Monorail covered 354.3 feet (108 meters).

The test run occurred on Republic Day, a national holiday in India. It was on this date in 1950 that the Constitution of India took effect, thereby marking the country’s transition to a fully sovereign republic. In its account of the first run-through for Mumbai Monorail’s trains, the Indian news website Oneindia.com reported that “Mumbai received a brand new Republic Day gift in the form of its upcoming monorail network.”

That Tuesday’s test run was launched after those trains were formally flagged off by Ashok Chavan, chief minister of Maharashtra, at the station in the Mumbai locality of Wadala. Chavan used the occasion to highlight the benefits of this new rail network. “It is an engineering marvel,” he said. “I think it is one of the best things that has happened to Mumbai.”

Mumbai Monorail became the first public transportation system of its kind in India since the closures of both the Kundala Valley Railway and Patiala State Monorail Trainways during the 1920s. Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) oversaw the construction of Mumbai Monorail. The building of this system officially began on February 9, 2009.

Nearly three years after the successful dry run on a small part of the Mumbai Monorail track on Republic Day in 2010, MMRDA conducted its first test run on the system’s entire 12.1-mile (19.5-kilometer)-long route. Prithviraj Chavan, who had succeeded the unrelated Ashok Chavan as chief minister of Maharashtra, subsequently inaugurated Mumbai Monorail for public use on February 1, 2014.

Photo Credit: Bombaywallas (licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en)

For more information on Mumbai Monorail, please check out https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mumbai_Monorail

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