For the first time in its 167 years of functioning, the Indian Railways will not be ferrying any passengers on its birthday. Ever since PM Narendra Modi announced a nationwide lockdown on March 24, the national transporter has suspended all its passenger services and activities.

“Never ever in its history, there has been such a long interruption of services. Not during the World Wars, not during the 1974 railway strike, or any other national calamity or natural disaster,” the Mid-Day tabloid quoted an Indian Railways spokesperson.

Even in 2006, following the disastrous and fearsome Mumbai train bombings, the services had resumed in mere hours.

Quartz reports that the first Indian Railways passenger train was flagged off on April 16, 1853, from Mumbai to Thane. In the meantime, a few trains have been converted into isolation wards by the government for coronavirus patients.