Journalist Mid-Day. Author of books on India’s rail history, heritage & trains. Biographer Dr E Sreedharan. Shortlisted as Best Non-Fiction of the Year, 2015 at Bengaluru Literary Fest. Museology from Prince of Wales Museum of Western India, now CSMVS, Mumbai
Rajendra B. Aklekar (born 1974) is an Indian journalist with 25 years’ experience, presently with Mid-Day Mumbai as Senior Assistant Editor, and author of best-selling books on India’s railway history, heritage and trains. He is also the biographer of India’s legendary railway engineer Dr E Sreedharan. His first book with Rupa Publications ‘Halt Station India ‘ was short-listed at Bengaluru Literary Fest 2015 for best Non-Fiction. He has worked in numerous prominent publications with his writings appearing in The Daily, The Sunday Observer, Hindustan Times, DNA, Mid-Day. While he had been a regular weekly columnist with England’s rail news website RailTube, he has also been an occasional contributor to Indian websites like Scroll, the Wire and a few more.
Aklekar, associated with the Indian Railway Fans’ Club Association has been a member of the Indian Steam Railway Society and life-member of the Rail Enthusiasts Society, is also trained in Museology from the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya, formerly named the Prince of Wales Museum of Western India and has contributed significantly while setting up the Rail Heritage Gallery at the UNESCO-listed Mumbai Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus station, formerly Victoria Terminus building, Bombay.
His book Halt Station India- The Dramatic Tale of the Nation’s First Rail Lines (1) (Rupa 2015), released (2) by India’s Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu, was about the story of India’s first railway line in Mumbai. The book (3) chronicles the dramatic rise of India’s original rail network, the arrival of the first train, and the subsequent emergence of a pioneering electric line—all in the port city of Bombay. The book was shortlisted (4) at the Bangalore Literature Festival 2015 as best Non-Fiction (English).
His second book India’s Railway Man- A Biography of Dr E Sreedharan, (5) also released (6) by Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu (Rupa 2017) is the biography of India’s prominent railway engineer Dr E Sreedharan. The biography has been endorsed (7) by Dr Sreedharan personally with a signed note in it. It documents his life story on how this iconic railway man got about building the Konkan Railway along India’s western coast on an extremely difficult terrain to how he introduced the culture of urban Metro rail in India.
His third book with Rupa Publications (June 2019) ‘A Short History of Indian Railways’ weaves together anecdotes from 1830s to 2019, taking the reader on a thrilling ride of over two centuries on an ‘express’ time machine. It has been received well by readers.
- DNA Mumbai “Book Review: Halt Station India”. DNA Newspaper India. Retrieved 21 July 2017.2. India, PIB. “Press Information Bureau India”., Govt. of India. Retrieved 21 July 2017.3. “Halt Station India”. ISBN Search. Retrieved 21 July 2017.4. Bengaluru Lit Fest 2015. “The Atta Galatta-Bangalore Literature Festival Non-Fiction Prize (English)”. Bengaluru Literary Festival 2015. Retrieved 21 July 2017.5. Publications, Rupa. India’s Railway Man- A Biography of E Sreedharan Rupa Publications. Retrieved 21 July 2017.6. Prabhu, Suresh. “Book Release”. Twitter.7. Aklekar, Rajendra (February 2017). India’s Railway Man (First ed.). New Delhi: Rupa Publications. pp. 8–9. ISBN 978-81-291-4521-5