Published On: Sat, Feb 5th, 2011

Indian Railways-Asia’s First and the world’s fourth largest railway network

Indian Railways (Hindi: Bhāratīya Rail), the state-owned railway company of India, which owns and operates most of the country’s rail transport. It is overseen by the Ministry of Railways of the Government of India.

Indian Railways has more than 64,015 kilometres (39,777 mi) of track and 6,909 stations. It has the world’s fourth largest railway network after that of the United States, Russia and China.The railways traverse the length and breadth of the country and carry over 20 million passengers and 2 million tons of freight daily. It is one of the world’s largest commercial or utility employers, with more than 1.6 million employees. As to rolling stock, IR owns over 200,000 (freight) wagons, 50,000 coaches and 8,000 locomotives.

Railways were first introduced to India in 1853. By 1947, the year of India’s independence, there were forty-two rail systems. In 1951 the systems were nationalised as one unit, becoming one of the largest networks in the world. IR operates both long distance and suburban rail systems on a multi-gauge network of broad, metre and narrow gauges. It also owns locomotive and coach production facilities.

Initially, the Indian railways were both designed and built by the British, during their colonial rule of the subcontinent.

Facts About Indian Railways

Founded     16 April 1857 (1857-04-16)
Headquarters     New Delhi, Delhi, India
Area served     India
Key people     Mamata Banerjee
(Ministry of Railways)
E. Ahamed & K.H. Muniyappa (Ministers of State)
Vivek Sahai(Chairman, Railway Board)
Products  :   Rail transport, Cargo transport, Services, more…
Revenue   :  Indian Rupee 88,355 crore (US$19.17 billion) (2009-10)
Net income     Indian Rupee 951 crore (US$206.37 million) (2009-10)
Owner(s)     Republic of India (100%)
Employees     1,600,000 (2009)
Divisions     16 Railway Zones (excluding Konkan Railway)
Website   :

Railway zones

Indian Railways is divided into zones, which are further sub-divided into divisions. The number of zones in Indian Railways increased from six to eight in 1951, nine in 1952, and finally 17 in 2010. Each zonal railway is made up of a certain number of divisions, each having a divisional headquarters. There are a total of sixty-seven divisions.

1. Central CR 1951, November 5 Mumbai Mumbai, Bhusawal, Pune, Solapur, Nagpur
2. East Central ECR 2002, October 1 Hajipur Danapur, Dhanbad, Mughalsarai, Samastipur, Sonpur
3. East Coast ECoR 2003, April 1 Bhubaneswar Khurda Road, Sambalpur, Visakhapatnam
4. Eastern ER 1952, April Kolkata Howrah, Sealdah, Asansol, Malda
5. North Central NCR 2003, April 1 Allahabad Allahabad, Agra, Jhansi
6. North Eastern NER 1952 Gorakhpur Izzatnagar, Lucknow, Varanasi
7. North Western NWR 2002, October 1 Jaipur Jaipur, Ajmer, Bikaner, Jodhpur
8. Northeast Frontier NFR 1958,15th Jan Guwahati Alipurduar, Katihar, Rangia, Lumding, Tinsukia
9. Northern NR 1952, April 14 Delhi Delhi, Ambala, Firozpur, Lucknow, Moradabad
10. South Central SCR 1966, October 2 Secunderabad Secunderabad, Hyderabad, Guntakal, Guntur, Nanded, Vijayawada
11. South East Central SECR 2003, April 1 Bilaspur Bilaspur, Raipur, Nagpur
12. South Eastern SER 1955 Kolkata Adra, Chakradharpur, Kharagpur, Ranchi
13. South Western SWR 2003, April 1 Hubli Hubli, Bangalore, Mysore
14. Southern SR 1951, April 14 Chennai Chennai, Tiruchirappalli, Madurai, Palakkad, Salem, Trivandrum(Thiruvananthapuram)
15. West Central WCR 2003, April 1 Jabalpur Jabalpur, Bhopal, Kota
16. Western WR 1951, November 5 Mumbai Mumbai Central, Ratlam, Ahmedabad, Rajkot, Bhavnagar, Vadodara
17. Kolkata Metro 2010, December 25 Kolkata Kolkata Metro

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  1. bikash says:

    How India become first?
    China does not belongs to Asia or what???

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