Old rail lines found in Thane east are now under the process of being concretised with local history groups now pushing for its conservation given the fact that Thane had played host to India’s first railway in 1853.
A railway official said that these lines do not belong to the railways anymore but are significant from the view of the city’s history. The lines have been there since the time of the Great Indian Peninsula Railway, which was the former name of Central Railway and once went to the jetty that stood there. However, they are not in any way connected to the first train or first line even though Thane played host to the first railway in India.
The remains of the single line sidings pass under a road divider today along what was then called the Mithbandar Road and now named Rambhau Mhalgi Road. The path ends at an old cargo shed along the former jetty. When documented in 2010, the old wooden cargo shed with worth a view with remains of an iron weighing scale and cobblestone flooring, but today, the worn out shed has collapsed and forgotten like the city’s railway history and old lines.
The rails, in the east, pass to an old jetty, that was in use of the Salt Department till the early 1980s. “The place also had a few old buried cannons which we had salvaged recently. The tracks were a part of the old jetty,” Thane historian Sadashiv Tetwilkar said. Local corporators and politicians also said they have requested the TMC to build some kind of a memorial for this station and save parts of the rail if possible and not allow them to get buried like this.
The place is historic and there are no two views about it. “There were 12 large cannons half buried into ground. These were of British period. They were being used to anchor small boats, ships in Thane creek. We took out them from ground, cleaned, removed rust, applied anti-rust chemicals and restored on platform nearby Koliwada. Work was led by Dr Sachin Joshi of Deccan College Pune with the help of Thane Municipal Corporation and Koliwada Jamat Trust with permissions from Maritime Board, State Archaeology Department & TMC, etc,” Thane history buff and executive body member of Konkan Itihas Parishad Pravin Kadam said.
Thane Mayor Naresh Maresh Mhaske said he will try and see if they can be salvaged. “We will examine the location and try and see what can be done about this,” he said.