Eastern Railways Gives A Unique Train India Has Never Seen Before

Even though its 2018 and much progress has been made, it’s no secret that the domination of males in professions across in India is still the same. The farther up the rankings or positions go, the fewer women you’ll see. Impacting on this scenario recently, Soumita Roy, the first women loco pilot under . Taking charge of a suburban local from to Rajghat, she is making history with India’s first all-women train. 

The 31601 Up Sealdah-Ranaghat Matribhoomi local is an exclusive train reserved only for women and has started its services recently in the eastern districts. “Soumita was promoted to the rank of a loco pilot on September 20, 2018. She successfully completed the prescribed promotional training followed by aptitude and suitability tests to work as a loco pilot. Her target to be a loco pilot was highly appreciated by the railway administration. This should be an inspiration for other women who wish to join the profession. We already have women loco pilots and assistant loco pilots working as mail/express train crew,” says an ER official. 

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As a loco pilot is a single-seated position, the job gets very tricky with all the major functions they are responsible for. These trains tend to pick up speed very fast and the pilot is supposed to take care of brake timings and over-shooting signals at the platforms. Not only do they have to take care of the train’s functioning but also keep an eye out for people crossing tracks at congested stations. 

“The guard of the train, Sabita Shaw, and all the security personnel on board were women. Railway Protection Force sub-inspector Shibani Majumdar with her team of seven women constables were in charge. The all-women crew of the train were felicitated at Sealdah station before they started at 5.52pm. The 73.4km journey till Ranaghat was completed smoothly around 7.40pm. This is a major step towards women’s empowerment. It just goes to show that women can do everything that men can.”

This is a glorious part in the timeline of women in railways and this ‘unmanned’ achievement will hopefully bring forward more aspirational women to take part in future reforms. 

All images used in the article are for representation purpose only. 

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