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|Founded||16 April 1853|
|Headquarters||New Delhi, India|
|Key people||Mukul Roy
Minister of Railways
travel agency services
parking lot operations
other related services
|Revenue||106,647 crore (US$21.28 billion) (2011–12)|
|Net income||9,610 crore (US$1.92 billion) (2011–12)|
|Owner(s)||Government of India (100%)|
|Employees||1.4 million (2011)|
|Divisions||17 Railway Zones|
|Dates of operation||16 April 1853–Present|
|Track gauge||1676 mm; 1000 mm; 762 mm; 610 mm|
|Previous gauge||114,500 mi (184,270 km)|
|Headquarters||New Delhi, India|
Indian Railways (reporting mark IR) is an Indian state-owned railway enterprise, owned and operated by the Government of India through the Ministry of Railways. Indian Railways has 114,500 kilometres (71,147 mi). of total track over a route of 65,000 kilometres (40,389 mi) and 7,500 stations. It has the world's fourth largest railway network after those of the United States, Russia and China. The railways carry over 30 million passengers and 2.8 million tons of freight daily. In 2011-2012 Railway earnt 104,278.79 crore (US$20.8 billion) which consists of 69,675.97 crore (US$13.9 billion) from freight and 28,645.52 crore (US$5.71 billion) from passengers tickets.
Indian Railways is the world's fourth largest commercial or utility employer, by number of employees, with over 1.4 million employees. after Wal-Mart with 2.1 million employees, China National Petroleum Corporation with 1.61 million employees and State Grid Corporation of China with 1.53 million employees. As for rolling stock, IR owns over 229,381 Freight Wagons, 59,713 Passenger Coaches and 9,213 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 (many of which were already government-owned) were nationalized as one unit, the Indian Railways, 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. The Indian railways is proposing to build the highest railway track in the world overtaking the current record of the Beijing-Lhasa Railway line.
From 20 December 2010, the railways had deployed a 5 digit numbering system instead of the 4 digit system. The need is due to the fact that the Indian Railways runs 10,000 trains daily. Only a prefix of the digit 1 will be added to the four-digit numbers of the existing trains to make the transition smoother. The special trains run to clear festivals and holiday rush shall have the prefix of 0 (zero) In 31 March 2011, 21,014 km of the total 64,215 km route length is electrified (33%). Since 1960, almost all electrified sections on IR use 25,000 V AC traction through overhead catenary delivery.
The history of rail transport in India began in the mid-nineteenth century. In 1849, there was not a single kilometer of railway line in India. A British engineer, Robert Maitland Brereton, was responsible for the expansion of the railways from 1857 onwards. The Allahabad-Jubbulpore branch line of the East Indian Railway had been opened in June 1867. Brereton was responsible for linking this with the Great Indian Peninsula Railway, resulting in a combined network of 6,400 km (4,000 mi). Hence it became possible to travel directly from Bombay to Calcutta. This route was officially opened on 7 March 1870 and it was part of the inspiration for French writer Jules Verne's book Around the World in Eighty Days. At the opening ceremony, the Viceroy Lord Mayo concluded that “it was thought desirable that, if possible, at the earliest possible moment, the whole country should be covered with a network of lines in a uniform system”. 
By 1875, about £95 million were invested by British companies in Indian guaranteed railways. By 1880 the network had a route mileage of about 14,500 km (9,000 mi), mostly radiating inward from the three major port cities of Bombay, Madras and Calcutta. By 1895, India had started building its own locomotives, and in 1896 sent engineers and locomotives to help build the Uganda Railways.
In 1900, the GIPR became a government owned company. The network spread to the modern day states of Assam, Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh and soon various independent kingdoms began to have their own rail systems. In 1901, an early Railway Board was constituted, but the powers were formally invested under Lord Curzon. It served under the Department of Commerce and Industry and had a government railway official serving as chairman, and a railway manager from England and an agent of one of the company railways as the other two members. For the first time in its history, the Railways began to make a profit.
In 1907 almost all the rail companies were taken over by the government. The following year, the first electric locomotive made its appearance. With the arrival of World War I, the railways were used to meet the needs of the British outside India. With the end of the war, the railways were in a state of disrepair and collapse.
In 1920, with the network having expanded to 61,220 km, a need for central management was mooted by Sir William Acworth. Based on the East India Railway Committee chaired by Acworth, the government took over the management of the Railways and detached the finances of the Railways from other governmental revenues.
The period between 1920 to 1929 was a period of economic boom, there were 41,000 miles of railway line serving every district in the country. At that point of time, the railways represented a capital value of some 687 millions sterling, and they carried over 620 millions of passengers and approximately 90 million tons of goods each year. Following the Great Depression, the company suffered economically for the next eight years. The Second World War severely crippled the railways. Trains were diverted to the Middle East and the railways workshops were converted to ammunitions workshops. By 1946 all rail systems had been taken over by the government.
Indian Railways is divided into several 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 to sixteen in 2003 then to seventeen 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-eight divisions.
Each of the seventeen zones is headed by a General Manager (GM) who reports directly to the Railway Board. The zones are further divided into divisions under the control of Divisional Railway Managers (DRM). The divisional officers of engineering, mechanical, electrical, signal and telecommunication, accounts, personnel, operating, commercial and safety branches report to the respective Divisional Manager and are in charge of operation and maintenance of assets. Further down the hierarchy tree are the Station Masters who control individual stations and the train movement through the track territory under their stations' administration.
|Sl. No||Name||Abbr.||Date Established||Route KMs||Headquarters||Divisions|
|1.||Central||CR||1951-11-05||3905||Mumbai||Mumbai, Bhusawal, Pune, Solapur, Nagpur|
|2.||East Central||ECR||2002-10-01||3628||Hajipur||Danapur, Dhanbad, Mughalsarai, Samastipur, Sonpur|
|3.||East Coast||ECoR||2003-04-01||2572||Bhubaneswar||Khurda Road, Sambalpur, Visakhapatnam|
|4.||Eastern||ER||1952-04||2414||Kolkata||Howrah, Sealdah, Asansol, Malda|
|5.||North Central||NCR||2003-04-01||3151||Allahabad||Allahabad, Agra, Jhansi|
|6.||North Eastern||NER||1952||3667||Gorakhpur||Izzatnagar, Lucknow, Varanasi|
|7.||North Western||NWR||2002-10-01||5459||Jaipur||Jaipur, Ajmer, Bikaner, Jodhpur|
|8.||Northeast Frontier||NFR||1958-01-15||3907||Guwahati||Alipurduar, Katihar, Rangia, Lumding, Tinsukia|
|9.||Northern||NR||1952-04-14||6968||Delhi||Delhi, Ambala, Firozpur, Lucknow, Moradabad|
|10.||South Central||SCR||1966-10-02||5803||Secunderabad||Secunderabad, Hyderabad, Guntakal, Guntur, Nanded, Vijayawada|
|11.||South East Central||SECR||2003-04-01||2447||Bilaspur||Bilaspur, Raipur, Nagpur|
|12.||South Eastern||SER||1955||2631||Kolkata||Adra, Chakradharpur, Kharagpur, Ranchi|
|13.||South Western||SWR||2003-04-01||3177||Hubli||Hubli, Bangalore, Mysore|
|14.||Southern||SR||1951-04-14||5098||Chennai||Chennai, Trichy, Madurai, Palakkad, Salem, Trivandrum (Thiruvananthapuram)|
|15.||West Central||WCR||2003-04-01||2965||Jabalpur||Jabalpur, Bhopal, Kota|
|16.||Western||WR||1951-11-05||6182||Mumbai||Mumbai Central, Ratlam, Ahmedabad, Rajkot, Bhavnagar, Vadodara|
Staff are classified into gazetted (Group 'A' and 'B') and non-gazetted (Group 'C' and 'D') employees. The recruitment of Group 'A' gazetted employees is carried out by the Union Public Service Commission through exams conducted by it. The recruitment to Group 'C' and 'D' employees on the Indian Railways is done through 19 Railway Recruitment Boards which are controlled by the Railway Recruitment Control Board (RRCB). The training of all cadres is entrusted and shared between six centralized training institutes. These are following list of Group A services which are recruited by the UPSC(Union Public Service Commission ) of India
UPSC Civil Services Exam
1) Indian Railway Traffic Service, Group ‘A’.
2) Indian Railway Accounts Service, Group 'A'.
3) Indian Railway Personnel Service, Group ‘A’.
4) Railway Protection Force, Group ‘A’
UPSC Engineering Services Exam
1) Indian Railway Service of Engineers, Group ‘A’
2) Indian Railway Stores Service, Group ‘A’
3) Indian Railway Service of Mechanical Engineers, Group ‘A’
4) Indian Railway Service of Electrical Engineers, Group ‘A’
5) Indian Railway Service of Signal Engineers, Group ‘A’
Indian Railways manufactures much of its rolling stock and heavy engineering components at its six manufacturing plants, called Production Units, which are managed directly by the Ministry. Popular rolling stock builders such as CLW and DLW for electric and diesel locomotives; ICF and RCF for passenger coaches are Production Units of Indian Railways. Over the years, Indian Railways has not only achieved self-sufficiency in production of rolling stock in the country but also exported rolling stock to other countries. Each of these six production units is headed by a General Manager, who also reports directly to the Railway Board. The six Production Units are:-
|Sl. No||Name||Abbr.||Year Established||Location||Main products|
|1.||Golden Rock Locomotive Workshops||GOC||1928||Trichy||Diesel-electric Locomotives|
|2.||Chittaranjan Locomotive Works||CLW||1947||Chittaranjan, Asansol||Electric Locomotives|
|3.||Diesel Locomotive Works||DLW||1961||Varanasi||Diesel Locomotives|
|4.||Diesel-Loco Modernisation Works||DMW||1981||Patiala||Diesel-electric Locomotives|
|5.||Integral Coach Factory||ICF||1952||Chennai||Passenger coaches|
|6.||Rail Coach Factory||RCF||1986||Kapurthala||Passenger coaches|
|7.||Rail Wheel Factory||RWF||1984||Bangalore||Railway wheels and axles|
|8.||Rail Wheel Factory||RWF||2011||Chhapra||Railway wheels and axles|
There also exist independent organizations under the control of the Railway Board for electrification, modernization, research and design and training of officers, each of which is headed by an officer of the rank of General Manager. A number of Public Sector Undertakings, which perform railway-related functions ranging from consultancy to ticketing, are also under the administrative control of the Ministry of railways.
There are eleven public undertakings under the administrative control of the Ministry of Railways, viz.
Locomotives in India consist of electric and diesel locomotives. Steam locomotives are no longer used, except in heritage trains. Locomotives are also called locos or engines. In India, locomotives are classified according to their track gauge, motive power, the work they are suited for and their power or model number. The class name includes this information about the locomotive. It comprises 4 or 5 letters. The first letter denotes the track gauge. The second letter denotes their motive power (Diesel or Electric) and the third letter denotes the kind of traffic for which they are suited (goods, passenger, mixed or shunting). The fourth letter used to denote locomotives' chronological model number. However, from 2002 a new classification scheme has been adopted. Under this system, for newer diesel locomotives, the fourth letter will denote their horsepower range. Electric locomotives don't come under this scheme and even all diesel locos are not covered. For them this letter denotes their model number as usual.
A locomotive may sometimes have a fifth letter in its name which generally denotes a technical variant or subclass or subtype. This fifth letter indicates some smaller variation in the basic model or series, perhaps different motors, or a different manufacturer. With the new scheme for classifying diesel locomotives (as mentioned above) the fifth item is a letter that further refines the horsepower indication in 100 hp increments: 'A' for 100 hp, 'B' for 200 hp, 'C' for 300 hp, etc. So in this scheme, a WDM-3A refers to a 3100 hp loco, while a WDM-3F would be a 3600 hp loco.
Indian railways uses four gauges, the 1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in) broad gauge which is wider than the 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in) standard gauge; the 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 3⁄8 in) metre gauge; and two narrow gauges, 762 mm (2 ft 6 in) and 610 mm (2 ft) . Track sections are rated for speeds ranging from 75 to 160 km/h (47 to 99 mph).
The total length of track used by Indian Railways was about 114,000 km (71,000 mi) while the total route length of the network was 64,215 km (39,901 mi) on 31 March 2011. About 33% of the route-kilometer and 44% of the total track kilometer was electrified on 31 March 2011.
Broad gauge is the predominant gauge used by Indian Railways. Indian broad gauge—1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in)—is the most widely used gauge in India with 102,000 km (63,000 mi) of track length (90% of entire track length of all the gauges) and 54,600 km of route-kilometer (85% of entire route-kilometer of all the gauges) on 31 March 2011.
In some regions with less traffic, the meter gauge (1,000 mm/3 ft 3 3⁄8 in) is common, although the Unigauge project is in progress to convert all tracks to broad gauge. The metre gauge had about 9,000 km (5,600 mi) of track length (7.9% of entire track length of all the gauges) and 7,500 km of route-kilometer (11.6% of entire route-kilometer of all the gauges) on 31 March 2011.
The Narrow gauges are present on a few routes, lying in hilly terrains and in some erstwhile private railways (on cost considerations), which are usually difficult to convert to broad gauge. Narrow gauges had a total of 2,400 route-kilometre on 31 March 2011. The Kalka-Shimla Railway, the Kangra Valley Railway and the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway are three notable hill lines that use narrow gauge, but the Nilgiri Mountain Railway is a metre gauge track. These four rail lines will not be converted under the Unigauge project.
The share of broad gauge in the total route-kilometer has been steadily rising, increasing from 47% (25,258 route-km) in 1951 to 85% in 2011 whereas the share of meter gauge has declined from 45% (24,185 route-km) to less than 12% in the same period and the share of narrow gauges has decreased from 8% to 3%. However, the total route-kilometer has increased by only 18% (by just 10,000 km from 53,596 route-km in 1951) in the last sixty years. This compares very poorly with Chinese railways, which increased from about 27,000 route-km at the end of second world war to about 100,000 route-km in 2011, an increase of more than threefold. More than 28,000 route-km (34% of the total route-km) of Chinese railway is electrified compared to only about 21,000 route-km of Indian railways.
Double-decker AC trains have been introduced in India. The first double decker train was Flying Rani introduced in 2005 while the first double-decker AC train in the Indian Railways was introduced in November 2010, running between the Dhanbad and Howrah stations having 10 coaches and 2 power cars.
Sleepers (ties) are made up of prestressed concrete, or steel or cast iron posts, though teak sleepers are still in use on a few older lines. The prestressed concrete sleeper is in wide use today. Metal sleepers were extensively used before the advent of concrete sleepers. Indian Railways divides the country into four zones on the basis of the range of track temperature. The greatest temperature variations occur in Rajasthan.
Existing rail links:
Under construction / Proposed links:
Trains are classified by their average speed. A faster train has fewer stops ("halts") than a slower one and usually caters to long-distance travel.
|1||Duronto Express||These are the non-stop point to point rail services (except for operational stops) introduced for the first time in 2009 . These trains connect the metros and major state capitals of India and are faster than Rajdhani Express.These trains are now of the Highest Priority to the Indian Railways. The Duronto services consists of classes of accommodation namely first AC, two-tier AC, three-tier AC, AC 3 Tier Economy, Sleeper Class, General Class.|
|2||Rajdhani Express||These are all air-conditioned trains linking major cities to New Delhi. The Rajdhanis have high priority and are one of the fastest trains in India, travelling at about 130 km/h (82 mph). There are only a few stops on a Rajdhani route.|
|3||Shatabdi Express||The Shatabdi trains are AC intercity seater-type trains for travel during day.|
|4||Garib Rath||Fully air conditioned trains, designed for those who cannot afford to travel in the expensive Shatabti and Rajdhani Express. Garib Rath means "Chariot of the Poor". The maximum speed is 130 km/h.|
|5||Jan Shatabdi||Jan Shatabdi Express are a more affordable variety of the Shatabdi Express, which has both AC and non-AC classes. The maximum speed is 130 km/h.|
|6||Sampark Kranti Express||Sampark Kranti Express trains are a series of trains that provide quick connectivity from a particular state to the national capital, New Delhi.|
|7||Superfast Express/Mail||These are trains that have an average speed greater than 55 km/h (34 mph). Tickets for these trains have an additional super-fast surcharge.|
|8||Express||These are the most common kind of trains in India. They have more stops than their super-fast counterparts, but they stop only at relatively important intermediate stations.|
|9||Passenger and Fast Passenger||These are slow trains that stop at most stations along the route and are the cheapest trains. The trains generally have unreserved seating accommodation but some night trains have sleeper, First Class and 3A compartments.|
|10||Suburban trains||These trains operate in urban areas, usually stop at all stations and have unreserved seating accommodation.|
|11||Metros and Monorails||These trains are designed for city transport in metro cities of India.|
Several long trains are composed of two to three classes of travel, such as a 1st and 2nd classes which have different pricing systems for various amenities. The 1st Class refers to coaches with separate cabins, coaches can be air-conditioned or non air-conditioned.
Further, other AC classes can have 2 or 3 tier berths, with higher prices for the former, 3-tier non-AC coaches or 2nd class seating coaches, which are popular among passengers going on shorter journeys.
In air-conditioned sleeper classes passengers are provided with sheets, pillows and blankets. Meals and refreshments are provided, to all the passengers of reserved classes, either through the on-board pantry service or through special catering arrangements in trains without pantry car. Unreserved coach passengers have options of purchasing from licensed vendors either on board or on the platform of intermediate stops.
The amenities depend on the popularity and length of the route. Lavatories are communal and feature both the Indian style as well as the Western style.
The following table lists the classes in operation. Not all classes may be attached to a rake though.
|1A||The First class AC: This is the most expensive class, where the fares are on par with airlines. There are eight cabins (including two coupes) in the full AC First Class coach and three cabins (including one coupe) in the half AC First Class coach. The coach has an attendant, to help the passengers. Bedding is included with the fare in IR. This air conditioned coach is present only on popular routes between metropolitan cities and can carry 18 passengers (full coach) or 10 passengers (half coach). The sleeper berths are extremely wide and spacious. The coaches are carpeted, have sleeping accommodation and have privacy features like personal coupes. Passengers are served exclusive pantry cooked food (included in the fare in Rajdhani Express trains only). This class is available on broad gauge and metre gauge trains.|
|2A||AC-Two tier: These air-conditioned coaches have sleeping berths across eight partitions (with curtains). Each partition has either four or two berths. Berths are usually arranged in two tiers in bays of six, four across the width of the coach then the gangway then two berths longways, with curtains provided to give some privacy from those walking up and down. Bedding is included with the fare. Passengers are served food. A broad gauge coach can carry 48 passengers (full coach) or 20 passengers (half coach). This class is available on broad gauge and metre gauge trains.|
|FC||First class: Same as 1AC, without the air conditioning. No bedding is available in this class. The berths are wide and spacious. There is a coach attendant to help the passengers. This class is not very common. This class is available on all gauges.|
|3A||AC three tier: Air conditioned coaches with 64 sleeping berths. Berths are usually arranged as in 2AC but with three tiers across the width and two longways as before giving eight bays of eight. They are slightly less well-appointed, usually no reading lights or curtained off gangways. Bedding is included with fare. It carries 64 passengers in broad gauge. This class is available only on broad gauge.|
|3E||AC three tier (Economy): Air conditioned coaches with sleeping berths, present in Garib Rath Trains. Berths are usually arranged as in 3AC but with three tiers across the width and three longways. They are slightly less well-appointed, usually no reading lights or curtained off gangways. Bedding is not included with fare.|
|CC||AC chair car: An air-conditioned seater coach with a total of five seats in a row used for day travel between cities.|
|EC||Executive class chair car: An air-conditioned coach with large spacious seats and legroom. It has a total of four seats in a row used for day travel between cities. This class of travel is only available on Shatabdi Express trains.|
|SL||Sleeper class: The sleeper class is the most common coach on IR, and usually ten or more coaches could be attached. These are regular sleeping coaches with three berths vertically stacked. In broad gauge, it carries 72 passengers per coach. Railways have modified certain Sleeper Coaches on popular trains to accommodate 81 passengers in place of regular 72 passengers. This has met with criticism from the travellers and are now being reverted to 72 sleepers.|
|2S||Seater class: same as AC Chair car, but with bench style seats and without the air-conditioning.|
|UR||Unreserved: The cheapest accommodation, the seats usually made up of pressed wood, but the cushioned seats have been rapidly replaced. Although entry into the compartment is guaranteed, a sitting seat is not guaranteed. Tickets are issued in advace for a minimum journey of more than 24 hours. Tickets issued are valid on any train on the same route if boarded within 24 hours of buying the ticket. These coaches are usually very crowded.|
At the rear of the train is a special compartment known as the guard's cabin. It is fitted with a transceiver and is where the guard usually gives the all clear signal before the train departs. A standard passenger rake generally has four general compartments, two at the front and two behind, of which one is exclusively for ladies. The exact number varies according to the demand and the route. A luggage compartment can also exist at the front or the back. In some trains a separate mail compartment is present. In long-distance trains a pantry car is usually included in the centre.
There are two UNESCO World Heritage Sites on IR – the Chatrapati Shivaji Terminus and the Mountain Railways of India. The latter is not contiguous, but actually consists of three separate railway lines located in different parts of India:
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