The industrial revolution that started in England in the late eighteenth century is a fascinating episode in human history. Within a few decades, it caused more changes in the world than that were witnessed in the previous many centuries or perhaps even in millennia. Many new machines were invented during the next half a century. Among the most revolutionary was definitely the steam engine. It was applied widely from coal mines to huge textiles mills. George Stephenson, a famous inventor, applied this new technology to improve means of transportation and after many prototypes and trials, finally built the first successful railway engine in 1829 that literally revolutionized transportation all over the world within a few decades.
By the mid-nineteenth century the British had completed the conquest of India and to boost economic activity they introduced rails to India. The first railway line from Mumbai to Thane was opened on 16 April, 1853. It ran for just 34 kilometers. However, the subsequent progress was astonishingly fast. By the end of the nineteenth century, the vast Indian peninsula was connected from the extremities of East to West and North to South with a huge network of railways. No surprise, establishing railways is counted among the biggest achievements of British rule in India.
In 1855, several companies started laying railway tracks in Punjab and Sindh. These all companies were merged and took the shape of NWR, North Western Railways, in 1886. How fast the gigantic projects of the railways were completed can be gauged from the fact that by the 1890s, all the major cities of Pakistan from Karachi to Lahore to Peshawar were connected through railways. Even far flung Quetta was connected with the network by laying railway tracks over a formidable terrain.
At the time of independence, most of the infrastructure of NWR fell into Pakistan and was renamed Pakistan Western Railway, as at the time present-day Pakistan was called West Pakistan. Subsequently, after the separation of East Pakistan this became simply Pakistan Railways. This was the historical background of Pakistan Railways. I shall not make you read the history of railways anymore and without further delay, I shall take you to Golra Railway station, where we have so much history to see, learn and enjoy too.
Golra railway station was established in 1886 and is located in the western suburbs of Islamabad, in my opinion, can easily be counted among the most interesting tourist spots in Islamabad. It is located at 33°40'13.6"N 72°56'52.2"E. A visit to this place was on my mind for a long time. Finally on 14 November 2021, I reached there and found the place, as interesting and pleasant, as I had expected. There is so much to see that I think there is no need to describe it in words.
The railway station has many attractions. Three beautifully restored steam engines are placed in the open for everyone to see and appreciate them. These are marvellous machines and you can see them in almost their original condition. The small beautiful building of the railway itself is a good example of nineteenth-century architecture. The railway station is still functional and as it lies on the main Lahore - Peshawar line, so quite regularly receives trains.