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Surekha Yadav: First Female Train Driver in India

Surekha Yadav

Surekha Yadav is the first woman from India to become a train driver and also a train driver of indigenously designed train “Vande Bharat Express”.


Surekha Shankar Yadav entered the realm historically dominated by men by becoming the first female locomotive pilot in the Indian railway system. Her trailblazing feat shattered longstanding stereotypes and etched a historic milestone. As India’s inaugural female train driver, her voyage stands as a testament to bravery, unwavering resolve, and an unyielding commitment to dismantling limitations.

Early Life and Education

Birth date2nd September 1965

BirthplaceSatara, Maharashtra

Surekha Yadav pursued her initial schooling at Saint Paul Convent High School. After completing her school education, she undertook vocational training and earned a Diploma in Electrical Engineering from the Government Polytechnic at Karad, Maharashtra. Her aspirations for higher education shifted when she joined the Indian Railways.

Early Career of First Female Loco Pilot

Surekha Yadav embarked on her journey when she was chosen by the Railway Recruitment Board, Mumbai, in 1987. Joining the Central Railway as a trainee assistant driver in 1986, she underwent intensive training at the Kalyan Training School for a duration of six months. Her commitment resulted in her elevation to the position of a permanent assistant driver in 1989.

Goods to Greatness

Surekha’s unwavering commitment enabled her to navigate a diverse range of trains. She helmed her initial local goods train, designated as L-50, where she managed engine conditions, signals, and associated responsibilities. Her resolve propelled her advancement, culminating in her becoming a proficient goods train driver in 1998. In 2010, she embraced the demanding role of operating a train on the Western Ghat railway line.

Landmark Achievements

Surekha’s legacy lives on as she drove an all-women crewed train from Mumbai to Lucknow in 2021. She continued to break barriers, becoming the first woman to operate the semi-high-speed “Vande Bharat Express” in 2023.

Inspiration for gender equality

Surekha’s path reverberated as a significant stride towards fostering gender parity in unconventional spheres. Her achievement highlighted the imperative of equitable chances, irrespective of gender, and served as a wellspring of motivation for innumerable women to shatter conventions. Her unwavering commitment struck a chord with aspiring women, leading to the inclusion of 50 female locomotive drivers in the roster of suburban and goods train operators by 2011.

Legacy of leadership

Surekha Yadav’s influence extended beyond her professional achievements. As a role model and advocate of gender equality, she demonstrated the potential for women in male-dominated sectors.

Read Also: UPSC IFS Main 2023 DAF I released on, check how to fill

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