India’s first train made its journey between Mumbai's Bori Bunder and Thane on April 16, 1853. Founded in 1853, the Indian Railways has come a long way since. It's now the fourth largest railway system in the world and its history holds an array of locomotive designs as technology developed over the years.
While we have a few museums that hold a number of beautiful vintage trains and retired relics, Siddharth Dasari’s project pays tribute to the 'most unsung heroes of travel in India' in a very creative way. It all started early in 2013, when he met a first-generation retired railway engine designer of the Indian Railways, who shared with Dasari the engines he had designed from the 1960s.
'I was always fascinated by the diversity of trains in India, what with the different forms, colour combinations, horn sounds etc., and this project allowed me to explore and learn about them, their names and the reason behind why they were called that way, where they were designed and made,' he writes. Researching for his illustrations, he gained inspiration and knowledge from a number of online platforms, blogs and discussions dedicated to railway engines.
A work in progress, his project aims to document close to 100 engines that have been made from the 18th century till the present. 'I have grown up travelling extensively across the country in these trains and I thought this project could be like a small tribute to them, at the same time, educating interested people on the diversity of the engines,' he writes.
Scroll down for a peek of the project as he develops his website and check out the prototype and the first few illustrations here.
For more information, visit his website. All images courtesy Siddharth Dasari.