More about Rajendra


More about Rajendra

Rajendra B. Aklekar

Journalist, Author & Rail Buff

Rajendra B. Aklekar (born 1974) is an Indian journalist with over 25 years’ experience, presently with Mid-Day Mumbai looking at public transport/mass transit as Senior Assistant Editor.

He is also the author of best-selling books on India’s railway history and heritage. He is also the biographer of India’s legendary railway engineer Dr E Sreedharan. With museology from Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharasj Vastu Sangrahalaya (formerly the Prince of Wales Museum, Mumbai, Aklekar is also a Google-certified Digital Marketer.

His first book with Rupa Publications ‘Halt Station India’ was short-listed at Bengaluru Literary Festival 2015 for best Non-Fiction of the Year. The book was also presented a Special Mention Award at the 6th National Convention (2015-16) of the Konkan Itihas Parishad. It is also the winner of the Navi Mumbai Chamber of Business and Industries ‘Best Author 2021’ award in History and Travel category.

He has worked in numerous prominent print publications with by-lines in The Daily, The Sunday Observer, Hindustan Times, DNA, Mid-Day, several Marathi publications and prominent websites. He had been a regular weekly columnist with England’s rail news website RailTube. Aklekar, associated with the Indian Railway Fans’ Club Association, Indian Steam Railway Society, Rail Enthusiasts Society, has contributed significantly while setting up the Rail Heritage Gallery at the UNESCO-listed Mumbai Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus station, formerly Victoria Terminus building, Bombay and documentation of heritage relics of India’s first railway.

His first book Halt Station India- The Dramatic Tale of the Nation’s First Rail Lines (Rupa 2015), released by India’s Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu, was about the story of India’s first railway line in Mumbai. The book 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 at the Bangalore Literature Festival 2015 as best Non-Fiction (English). This book has also been translated into Marathi by prominent Pune-based publisher Mehta Publishing House.

His second book India’s Railway Man- A Biography of Dr E Sreedharan, (5) also released by Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu (Rupa 2017) is the biography of India’s prominent railway engineer Dr E Sreedharan. The biography has been endorsed 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 next book with Rupa Publications (June 2019) ‘A Short History of Indian Railways’ is a lighter read weaving 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.

His latest online book ‘The Great Indian Railway Romance’ is a compilation of his weekly news update column that used to appear online on England-based RailTube website.

Interviews, Mentions & Book Reviews

Frontline– Romancing the railways DNA India– Book Review: Halt Station India Business India– Salaam, Bombay locals! Verve Magazine– Book Reviews: Country Capers Spectral Hues– “Railways power me for the rest of the day”: Rajendra B. Aklekar Bengaluru Lit Fest– The Atta Galatta-Bangalore Literature Festival Non-Fiction Prize (English), Bengaluru Lit Fest 2015 Press Information Bureau– Minister of Railways releases “Halt Station India”