The Indian Railways, which span this beautiful nation’s length and width, are aptly referred to as the lifeline of the nation. Thousands of people and loads of cargo are transported around the nation every day via a vast network of railroad stations, trains, and kilometers of railway lines.

Indian Railways is ranked fourth in the world in terms of network size. If you need to go to any location in India, you can easily use the railway. In comparison to driving or flying, using the train is also more practical and cost-effective.

Indian railways provide various options to passengers from various socioeconomic backgrounds, including general, sleeper, and AC (third, second, and first) classes aboard the train. You can select them based on your needs and financial situation.

However, as everything comes at a price, you also have to pay your share of the fare if you want to travel without any tension. Also, keep in mind that getting onto a train and traveling without a ticket are crimes in India that can result in fines and perhaps even jail time.

But have you ever heard of a railway that allows you to ride entirely for free?

Yes, you have read correctly, so there is no need to be astonished.

There is a train where passengers have had around 75 years of free transportation. They are not required to pay any money for this. However, it travels a certain path.

So, let’s find out everything about the train:

Bhakra-Nangal train: India’s one and only free train

Now, it might seem too wonderful to be true, but for the past 73 years, travelers have been allowed to travel for free on the Bhakra Railway Train.

The Bhakra Byas Management Board oversees the operation of this railway, which travels between Bhakra and Nangal along the Himachal Pradesh/Punjab border. This train travels 13 kilometers across the Shivalik Hills and crosses the Sutlej River. This train’s passengers are not required to pay a fee.

For the uninitiated, Bhakra-Nangal Dam is well known for being the highest straight gravity dam in the whole globe. Due to this, tourists travel from far and wide to view it. So, tourists that visit the Bhakra-Nangal Dam may also take advantage of the train’s free ride.

Since the train doesn’t need tickets, it also doesn’t have TEEs.

How did it start?

In 1948, service on the Bhakar-Nangal railroad began. The necessity for the special railway was discovered while the Bhakar Nangal dam was being built since there were no methods of transportation available at the time to connect Nangal and Bhakar.

In order to make it easier to carry both heavy equipment and personnel, it was planned to install a railroad track along the route.

Steam engines initially propelled the train, but in 1953, three modern engines brought from America took their place. The Indian Railway has since launched five variants of the engine, but the unique train’s 60-year-old engines are still in use today.

The coaches are extremely distinctive and were produced in Karachi. Additionally, the chairs are also composed of wooden benches from the colonial era. The train is said to use 18 to 20 gallons of fuel each hour, but the Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB) has chosen to keep it free.

Daily commuters, BBMB personnel, students, and visitors can still travel for free on the railway track that is installed beside the Nangal Dam River.

The BBMB has once even considered canceling the free ride due to budgetary difficulties. Later, however, it came to the realization that the train was much more than just a means of transportation. The free service was reinstated, and it was noted that the Bhakar-Nangal railway symbolized tradition and legacy.


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