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Rail Transport

Rail Transport network in India is one of the longest in the world. The first railway on Indian sub-continent ran over a stretch of 21 miles from Bombay to Thane. Indian Railways, the premier transport organization of the country is the largest rail network in Asia and the world's second largest under one management. Indian Railway is controlled by the Railway Ministry and the Railway Board and for better services and control, the rail transportation is divided into 16 zones or division with headquarter.
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Rail Transport network in India is one of the longest in the world. It facilitates the movement of both freight and passengers and contributes to the growth of economy. Mahatma Gandhi said, the Indian railways “brought people of diverse cultures together to contribute to India’s freedom struggle.”

Historical Background

The first railway on Indian sub-continent ran over a stretch of 21 miles from Bombay to Thane. The idea of a railway to connect Bombay with Thane, Kalyan and with the Thal and Bhore Ghats inclines first occurred to Mr. George Clark, the Chief Engineer of the Bombay Government, during a visit to Bhandup in 1843.

The formal inauguration ceremony was performed on 16th April 1853, when 14 railway carriages carrying about 400 guests left Bori Bunder at 3.30 pm "amidst the loud applause of a vast multitude and to the salute of 21 guns." The first passenger train steamed out of Howrah station destined for Hooghly, a distance of 24 miles, on 15th August, 1854. Thus the first section of the East Indian Railway was opened to public traffic, inaugurating the beginning of railway transport on the Eastern side of the sub-continent.

In south the first line was opened on Ist July, 1856 by the Madras Railway Company. It ran between Vyasarpadi Jeeva Nilayam (Veyasarpandy) and Walajah Road (Arcot), a distance of 63 miles. In the North a length of 119 miles of line was laid from Allahabad to Kanpur on 3rd March 1859. The first section from Hathras Road to Mathura Cantonment was opened to traffic on 19th October, 1875.

These were the small beginnings which is due course developed into a network of railway lines all over the country. By 1880 the Indian Railway system had a route mileage of about 9000 miles. Indian Railways, the premier transport organization of the country is the largest rail network in Asia and the world's second largest under one management.

Zones and Division of Indian Rail

Indian Railway is controlled by the Railway Ministry and the Railway Board and for better services and control, the rail transportation is divided into 16 zones or division with headquarter which is given below in table form:

S/No.

Name of the Railway Zone

Zonal Headquarter

  Division

1

Central Railway

Mumbai

  • Mumbai 
  • Nagpur 
  • Bhusawal 
  • Pune 
  • Sholapur 

2

Eastern Railway

Kolkata

  • Howrah-I 
  • Howrah-II 
  • Sealdah 
  • Malda 
  • Asansol 
  • Chitaranjan

3

East Central Railway

Hajipur

  • Danapur 
  • Mugalsarai 
  • Dhanbad 
  • Sonpur 
  • Samastipur

4

East Coast Railway

Bhubaneshwar

  • Khurda Road 
  • Waltair 
  • Sambhalpur

5

Northern Railway

Baroda House, New Delhi

  • Delhi-I 
  • Delhi-II 
  • Ambala 
  • Moradabad 
  • Lucknow 
  • Firozpur

6

North Central  Railway

Allahabad

  • Allahabad 
  • Jhansi 
  • Agra

7

North Eastern  Railway

Gorakhpur

  • Izzatnagar 
  • Lucknow 
  • Varanasi

8

North Frontier  Railway

Maligaon, Guwahati

  • Katihar 
  • Alipurduar 
  • Rangiya 
  • Lumding 
  • Tinsukhia

9

North Western Railway

Jaipur

  • Jaipur 
  • Jodhpur 
  • Bikaner 
  • Ajmer

10

Southern  Railway

Chennai

  • Chennai
  • Madurai 
  • Palghat 
  • Trichy 
  • Trivendrum

11

South Central Railway

Secunderabad

  • Secunderabad 
  • Hyderabad 
  • Guntakal 
  • Vijaywada 
  • Nanded

12

South Eastern Railway

Garden Reach, Kolkata

  • Kharagpur 
  • Adra 
  • Chakradharpur 
  • Ranchi 
  • Shalimar

13

South East Central  Railway

Bilaspur

  • Bilaspur 
  • Nagpur 
  • Raipur

14

South Western Railway

Hubli

  • Bangalore 
  • Mysore 
  • Hubli 
  • FA/F/YNK

15

Western Railway

Mumbai CST

  • BCT 
  • Vadodara 
  • Ahmadabad 
  • Ratlam 
  • Rajkot 
  • Bhavnagar

16

West Central Railway

Jabalpur

  • Jabalpur 
  • Bhopal 
  • Kota