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Indian Railways is an Indian state-owned enterprise, owned and operated by the Government of India through the Ministry of Railways.

  • Railways were first introduced to India in theyear 1853from Mumbai to Thane
  • Indian Railways Nationalized in 1951
  • The country’s first railway, built by the Great Indian Peninsula Railway
  • The Indian railway system is the largest in Asia and fourthin the world based on rail transport network size after USA, China and Russia
  • It is single undertaking in the country
  • It has the second biggest electrified system in the world after Russia
  • The number of stations at present is in between 8000 to 8500
  • The total length of Indian railway is 115,000 km
  • At present Indian railway have 9549 locomotives 55,339 passenger services  vehicle 6560 other coaching vehicles and 239321 wagons
  • Indian Railways is divided into 17 zones, which are further sub-divided into 68 divisions
  • Each zone is headed by a general manager

Zones and Head quarters of Indian Railways

Southern14 April 1951ChennaiChennai, Tiruchirappalli, Madurai, and Salem, Palakkad,Thiruvananthapuram
Central5 November 1951MumbaiMumbai,CST, Bhusawal, Pune, Solapur and Nagpur
Western5 November 1951MumbaiMumbai,Central, Ratlam, Ahmedabad, Rajkot,
Bhavnagar and Vadodara
Eastern14 April 1952KolkataHowrah, Sealdah, Asansol and Malda Town
Northern14 April 1952DelhiDelhi, Ambala, Firozpur, Lucknow and Moradabad
North Eastern14 April 1952GorakhpurIzzatnagar, Lucknow and Varanasi
South Eastern1955KolkataAdra, Chakradharpur, Kharagpur and Ranchi
Northeast Frontier15 January 1958MaligaonAlipurduar, Katihar, Rangia, Lumding and Tinsukia
South Central2 October 1966SecunderabadVijayawada, Secunderabad, Guntakal, Guntur,
Hyderabad and Nanded
East Central1 October 2002HajipurDanapur, Dhanbad, Mughalsarai, Samastipurand  Sonpur
North Western1 October 2002JaipurJaipur, Ajmer, Bikaner and Jodhpur
East Coast1 April 2003BhubaneswarKhurda Road, Sambalpur and Visakhapatnam
North Central1 April 2003AllahabadAllahabad, Agra and Jhansi
South East Central1 April 2003BilaspurBilaspur, Raipur and Nagpur
South Western1 April 2003HubliHubli, Bangalore, Mysore and Gulbarga
West Central1 April 2003JabalpurJabalpur, Bhopal and Kota
Metro RailwayKolkata
South Coast Railway28/2/2019VisakhapatnamVijayawadaGunturGuntakal A part of Waltair Division


 Railway Tracks:

Track – Distance between rails

  • Broad Gauge – 1676 mm
  • Meter Gauge – 1000 mm
  • Narrow Gauge – 762 mm/610 mm

Manufacturing Unit

Name of the UnitLocation
Chittaranjan Locomotive WorksChittaranjan, West Bengal
Central Organisation for Railway ElectrificationAllahabad, UP
Diesel Locomotive WorksVaranasi, UP
Diesel Loco Modernisation WorksPatiala, Punjab
Integral Coach FactoryChennai, Tamil Nadu
Rail Coach FactoryKapurthala, Punjab
Rail Wheel FactoryBangalore, Karnataka
Rail Coach FactoryRaebareli, UP
Rail Wheel PlantChhapra, Bihar
Diesel Component FactoryDankuni, West Bengal


Luxury Train routes

NameRun by
Palace on WheelsRajasthan Tourism
Deccan OdysseyMaharashtra Tourism
The Golden ChariotKarnataka Tourism
Royal Rajasthan on WheelsRajasthan Tourism


Important Railway Committees

  • Shahnawaz Committee – 1954, High Level Safety Review Committee
  • Kanjaru Committee – 1962, Railway Accidents Committee
  • Wahchoo Committee – 1968, Railway Safety Committee
  • Seekari Committee – 1978, Railway Accidents Enquiry Committee
  • Khanna Committee – 1998, Railway Safety Review Committee
  • Arvind Panagariya committee – 2016 to fast-track bullet train project


Here are some interesting things one should know about the Indian Railways:

  • The first train in India ran on April 16th1853 from Mumbai to Thane. With 400 passengers, this train completed its journey of 34 kms with the help of three engines–Sahib, Sindh and Sultan.
  • Father of Indian Railway – Lord Dalhousie
  • Fastest train – The Gatimann Express, Run between Agra and New Delhi
  • The Indian Railways did not have toilets for more than 50 years.
  • The slowest train in India is the Metupalayam Ooty Nilgiri Passenger train. It runs at a speed of 10 kmph Run between Chennai and Mettupalayam.
  • First double-decker train – Shatabdi train was flagged off in October 2011
  • First air-conditioned double-decker train – Shatabdi train will run from Mumbai to Goa
  • First underground railway (Metro Railway) – Kolkata Metro(1984)
  • Largest Zone in Indian Railways – Northern Railway
  • A platform surrounded by rail lines from all the four sides – Island platform
  • First railway station – Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus railway station in Mumbai
  • Gorakhpur railway station in Uttar Pradesh has the longest platform in the world.
  • First broad gauge super fast train – rajdhani express new delhihowrah 1st march 1969
  • First metre gauge super fast train – pink city express new delhijaipur 17th Oct 1981
  • First narrow gauge super fast train – shivalik deluxe express kalka – shimla 9th Aug 1996
  • First time table 1853 central India
  • First stamp on Indian railways 4 annas 10th dec 1936 by king george
  • First automatic signalling system 1928
  • First railway book stall – 1877 Allahabad wheeler & co ltd
  • First wagon in India 1920 jessop& co., Kolkata
  • First vestibuled train 1stJune 1930, deccan queen
  • First railway tunnel of Indian railway -Parsik tunnel
  • Trains that have placed in Guinness Book -Darjeeling Toy Train, Nilgiri Mountain Train Simla Toy Train, Mathenron Toy Train, Place on wheels Royal Orient, Buddha circular Express, Fairy Queen.
  • Satpura Express numerical name 10001/10002 – run between Jabalpur and Balaghat
  • Highest Railway station in India – Similiguda (996.08 mt from sea level in the Valtair division of Southern–Eastern Railway)
  • Highest river bridge manufactured under Konkan Railway – Panval River Rail bridge (64 mt. high)
  • Division that has maximum number of tunnels – Kalka Simla division of Northern Railway (103 tunnels)
  • Nehru setu is the Longest railway bridge of Indian railway – Railway bridge in Kerala near Kochchi joins Idapalli to Vallerpadma (Length 62 km) on river Sone
  • Last railway station of Northern Railway and Indian Railway – Bajalta
  • Indian state has maximum rail routes – Uttar Pradesh
  • Himsagar Express passes through – 11 States(Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Tamilnadu, Karnataka and Kerala)
  • Railway station that has all the three rails -Dumdum Railway station (EMU rail service circular Railway and Metro Railway)
  • Railway station has smallest name from the English alphabets -IB (Between Howrah–Nagpur)
  • Railway station has longest name – Venkatanarsimharajuvaripeta (Tamilnadu)
  • First female operator in Delhi Metro – Minakshi Sharma
  • First female to become the member of Railway Board – Vijaylaxmi Vishwanathan
  • Longest platform situated – Khadagpur (West Bengal)
  • Train only for women run – From Churchgate to Boriwali in Mumbai
  • Metro Rail in Calcutta – 1984
  • Railway week celebrated on 10–16April.
  • 19 Railway Recruitment Boards are there in India
  • Indian railway board established in 1905
  • First tourist rail – Palace on wheels in 1982 between Delhi–Jaipur
  • Railway accident in the history of Indian Railway occurred in Morghat (Pune–Bombay root) on 5 January, 1869
  • Longest rail route in India – from Dibrugarh (Assam) To Kanyakumari takes 82 hours distance 4272 km train name – Vivek Express. It runs from Dibrugarh in upper Assam to Kanyakumari at the southern tip of Tamil Nadu.
  • First monorail operate in India – From Sarhind to Alampur and Bhawanimandi to Patiala
  • First telecommunication between guard and driver – Mumbai–New Delhi (Rajdhani Express)
  • First Rajdhani Express ran between New Delhi–Howrah , 1969
  • First DC electrical rail engine – Lokmanya (CLW manufactured it in 1961)
  • First computer reservation system start in New Delhi, 2002
  • Biggest railway yard located in India-Itarasi (Madhya Pradesh)
  • Southern Eastern Railway is known as ‘Blue chip’
  • First Duranto Express ran between Sialdah and New Delhi 18 September, 2009
  • Numbers of Indian railway used to be of 5 Digits from 20 December, 2010
  • Busiest railway station in Indian-Lucknow (64 Trains everyday)
  • First railway factory established in Jamalpur, 1890
  • Train runs between India and Pakistan – Samjhauta Express, Thar Express
  • Railway zone launched first Railway Time Table -Central Railway
  • State with minimum rail routes – Manipur
  • First blind friendly train, from Mysuru to Varanasi –


Other Important Recent Facts:

  • Dial 138 for medical emergency on train launched by Manoj Sinha, Minister of State for Railways.
  • Harsh Vardhan, Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu and Prakash Javadekar flagged off the special train(16 coaches) named Science Express Climate Action Special – “Climate Change” – 64 locations.
  • Japan offered to finance India’s first bullet train with an estimated cost of Rs. 90000 crores – Mumbai and Ahmedabad with speed 300 km/h and 350 km/h.
  • Delhi Metro’s bagged ranked first in“information during travel” and holds second position in “train cleanliness and comfort”.
  • First Compressed Natural Gas(CNG)flagged off – two trains (Rewari to Rohtak and Rewari to Bikaner station) from Haryana’s Rewari station.
  • Mobile-‘m-Indicator’ launched for the safety of women-Mumbai suburban trains.
  • India’s 1st railway-line built between Gandhidham and Tuna-Tekra Port under PPP model inaugurated in Gujarat.
  • Union cabinet approved a proposal to redevelop 400 railway stations using a contract method called the “Swiss challenge”- 400 stations.
  • GatimaanExpress, India’s 1st semi-high speed train service with supersonic calliber between Delhi and Agra at a speed of 160 kph
  • India’s 1st Diesel Electric Multiple Unit(DEMU) train service with an air-conditioned coach is launched in Kochi – Ernakulam-Tripunithura-Piravom train service.
  • 1st goods train from Lumding to Silchar in Assam-210Km.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi flagged 1st train service from Thalaimannar to Madhu Road in Northern Sri Lanka.
  • Indian Railways IRCTC Launched Ru-Pay pre-paid debit card-24th March 2015.
  • Delhi & Tokyo may ink pact for India’s first Bullet Train – Mumbai and Ahmedabad.
  • Diamond Quadrilateral project – High speed rail connects Chennai, Mumbai, Kolkata and Delhi
  • Current Railway Minister – Suresh Prabhu
  • The full track length of Indian Railways can easily circle the equator one and a half times.
  • The Indian Railways cover a large distance every day. It equals to three and a half times the distance to the moon.
  • Indian Railways is the 9thlargest employer in the world. Providing jobs for 1.3 million people, the railway is India’s largest single employer.
  • The railways is literally the lifeline of the country, it carries more than 25 million passengers each day.
  • We might complain about IRCTC website taking a long time to open, but the interesting fact is that the website gets close to 12 Lakh hits per minute.


UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Indian Railway has two UNESCO World Heritage Sites: the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus, Mumbai and the mountain railways of India.

The latter are three rail lines in different parts of India:


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