Indian Railway System Essay Active Assignments

This article is about the organisation. For general information on railways in India, see Rail transport in India.

‹ The templateInfobox rail is being considered for merging. ›

Schematic network map

Map of Indian Railways network with population density

Reporting markIR
LocaleIndia
Dates of operation8 May 1845 (1845-05-08)–Present
Track gauge1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in)
1,000 mm (3 ft 3 38 in)
762 mm (2 ft 6 in)
610 mm (2 ft)
Electrification25,367 kilometres (15,762 mi)
Length67,368 kilometres (41,861 mi) (route)[3]
93,902 kilometres (58,348 mi) (running track)
121,407 kilometres (75,439 mi) (total track)[3]

Indian Railways(IR) is India's national railway system operated by the Ministry of Railways. It manages the fourth-largest railway network in the world by size, with 121,407 kilometres (75,439 mi) of total track over a 67,368-kilometre (41,861 mi) route[3]. Thirty eight percent of the routes are electrified with 25 KV AC electric traction while thirty-three percent of them are double or multi-tracked [3][4].

IR runs more than 13,000 passenger trains daily, on both long-distance and suburban routes, from 7,349 stations across India[3]. The trains have a five-digit numbering system. Mail or express trains, the most common types, run at an average speed of 50.6 kilometres per hour (31.4 mph).[5] In the freight segment, IR runs more than 9,200 trains daily. The average speed of freight trains is around 24 kilometres per hour (15 mph).[6]

As of March 2017, IR's rolling stock consisted of 277,987 freight wagons, 70,937 passenger coaches and 11,452 locomotives[3]. IR owns locomotive and coach-production facilities at several locations in India.

The world's eighth-largest employer, it had 1.308 million employees as of March 2017.[3].

In the year ending March 2018, IR is projected to carry 8.26 billion passengers and transport 1.16 billion tons of freight [2]. In the fiscal year 2017-18, IR is projected to have earnings of ₹1.874 trillion (US$29 billion), consisting of ₹1.175 trillion (US$18 billion) in freight revenue and ₹501.25 billion (US$7.7 billion) in passenger revenue, with an operating ratio of 96.0 percent.[2]

History[edit]

Main article: History of rail transport in India

The first railway proposals for India were made in Madras in 1832.[7] The country's first train, Red Hill Railway (built by Arthur Cotton to transport granite for road-building), ran from Red Hills to the Chintadripet bridge in Madras in 1837.[7] India's first passenger train, hauled by three steam locomotives (Sahib, Sindh and Sultan), ran for 34 kilometres (21 mi) with 400 people in 14 carriages on 1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in) broad gauge track between Bori Bunder (Mumbai) and Thane on 16 April 1853.[8][9] The Dapoorie viaduct, India's first railway bridge, was built over the Ulhas River when the Mumbai-Thane line was extended to Kalyan in May 1854.[10] Eastern India's first passenger train ran 24 miles (39 km) from Howrah, near Kolkata, to Hoogly on 15 August 1854.[11] The first passenger train in South India ran 60 miles (97 km) from Royapuram- Veyasarapady (Madras) to Wallajah Road (Arcot) on 1 July 1856.[12] On 24 February 1873, a horse-drawn 3.8-kilometre (2.4 mi) tram opened in Calcutta between Sealdah and Armenian Ghat Street.[13] In 1897, lighting in passenger coaches was introduced by many railway companies. On 3 February 1925, the first electric passenger train in India ran between Victoria Terminus and Kurla.[14]

By the time of Indian Independence in 1947 from the British, a railway network of more than 58,000 km had been built primarily for developing the hinterlands and transporting agriculture produce,minerals, and troops to suppress uprisings. Private enterprise played  the  leading  role  in  railway construction during the early 19th century. Since the colonial government guaranteed a 5% return on investment, growth was phenomenal  in  the  early  stages[15].

The organisation of Indian railways into regional zones began in 1951,[16] when the Southern (14 April 1951), Central (5 November 1951) and Western (5 November 1951) zones were created.[17] Fans and lights were mandated for all compartments in all passenger classes in 1951, and sleeping accommodations were introduced in coaches. In 1956, the first fully air-conditioned train was introduced between Howrah (in today's West Bengal State) and Delhi.[18] Ten years later, the first containerized freight service began between Mumbai and Ahmedabad. In 1986, computerized ticketing and reservations were introduced in New Delhi.[19] In 1988, the first Shatabdi Express was introduced between New Delhi and Jhansi; it was later extended to Bhopal.[20] Two years later, the first self-printing ticket machine (SPTM) was introduced in New Delhi. In 1993, air-conditioned three-tier coaches and a sleeper class (separate from second class) were introduced on IR. The CONCERT system of computerized reservations was deployed in New Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai in September 1996. In 1998, coupon validating machines (CVMs) were introduced at Mumbai Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus. The nationwide Concierge system began operation on 18 April 1999. In February 2000, the Indian Railways website went online.[21] On 3 August 2002, IR began online train reservations and ticketing.[22]

  • India's first passenger train, between Bombay and Thane, in 1853

  • Railway map of India in 1909

Organisation[edit]

Structure[edit]

Main articles: Indian Railway organisational structure and Zones and divisions of Indian Railways

Indian Railways is headed by a seven-member Railway Board whose chairman reports to the Ministry of Railways. IR is divided into 17 zones, headed by general managers who report to the Railway Board.[23][24] The zones are further subdivided into 68 operating divisions, headed by divisional railway managers (DRM).[25][26][27] The divisional officers of the engineering, mechanical, electrical, signal and telecommunication, stores, accounts, personnel, operating, commercial, security and safety branches report to their respective DRMs and are tasked with the operation and maintenance of assets. Station masters control individual stations and train movements through their stations' territory. In addition, there are a number of Production Units, Training Establishments, Public Sector Enterprises and other Offices working under the control of Railway Board[28].

Subsidiaries and Undertakings[edit]

IR is a major shareholder in 16 Public Sector Undertakings (PSU) and other organizations that are related to rail transport in India. Notable among this list include [29] :

Financing, Construction and Project Implementation : IRFC, RITES, IRCON, MRVC, RVNL

Land and Station Development : RLDA, IRSDC

Rail Infrastructure : DFCCIL, PRCL

Passenger and Freight Train Operations : KRCL, CONCOR

IT and Communications : CRIS, RCIL

Catering and Tourism : IRCTC

Human Resources[edit]

Main article: Centralised Training Institutes of the Indian Railways

Staff are classified into gazetted (Groups A and B) and non-gazetted (Groups C and D) employees.[30] . Gazetted employees carry out executive / managerial / supervisorial level tasks. As of March 2017, number of personnel (Groups A & B) constitute 1.2% of the total strength, while Group C & D account for 92.6% and 6.2% respectively.[31]

Recruitment of Group A employees is carried out by the Union Public Service Commission by examination.[32] Recruitment of Group B section and junior engineers and depot material superintendents is conducted by the Railway Recruitment Board. Group C and D employees are recruited by 21 railway recruitment boards and cells, which are controlled by the Railway Recruitment Control Board (RRCB).[33] IR recruits for lower-level positions through its RRB NTPC (Railway Recruitment Board Non-Technical) examination.[34]

The training of all groups is shared among seven centralised training institutes and 295 Training centers located all over India.

IR offers housing and runs its own hospitals, schools and sports facilities for the welfare of its staff.[31]

Rolling stock[edit]

Locomotives[edit]

Main article: Locomotives of India

India uses electric and diesel locomotives, along with a few CNG (compressed natural gas) locomotives.[35]Steam locomotives are no longer in use, except in heritage trains. Locomotives in India are classified by gauge, motive power, the work they are suited for and their power or model number. Their four- or five-letter class name includes this information. The first letter denotes the track gauge; the second their motive power (diesel or electric), and the third their suitable traffic (goods, passenger, multi or shunting). The fourth letter denotes a locomotive's chronological model number. In 2002, a new classification was adopted in which the fourth letter indicates a newer diesel locomotive's horsepower range.

A locomotive may have a fifth letter in its name, denoting a technical variant, subclass or subtype (a variation in the basic model (or series) or a different motor or manufacturer). In the new diesel-locomotive classification, the fifth letter refines the horsepower in 100-hp increments: A for 100 hp, B for 200 hp, C for 300 hp an so on. In this classification, a WDM-3A is a 3100 hp, a WDM-3D a 3300 hp and a WDM-3F a 3600 hp locomotive.[a] Diesel locomotives are fitted with auxiliary power units, which save almost 88 percent of fuel during idle time when a train is not running.[36]

Goods wagons[edit]

See also: Wagon numbering system in India

As of March 2017, IR fleet consisted of 277,987 goods wagons. They carried 1,110 million tonnes of freight in Fiscal Year 2016-17[3]. Wagon types used by IR include BCACBM, BCCN, BCNA, BCNHL, BOBRN, BOBYN, BOXN (BOXN-HL, BOXN-HS, BOXN-HL, BOXN-CR, BOXN-LW, BOXN-AL, BOXN-EL), BRH, BTPGLN, BTPN and VVN.

IR’s bulk requirement of wagons is met by wagon manufacturing units both in public and private sectors as well as other Public Sector Units under the administrative control of Ministry of Railways [37].

Passenger coaches[edit]

On long distance routes and also on some shorter routes, IR uses 2 primary types of coach design types. ICF coaches, in production from 1955 until Jan 2018,[38] constitute the bulk of the current stock. These coaches, considered to be having inadequate safety features, are slowly being phased out. As of September 2017, around 40,000 coaches are still in operation[39]. The older coaches are being replaced with LHB coaches. Introduced in mid '90s, these coaches are lighter, safer and are capable of speeds up to 160 kilometres per hour (99 mph).[40]

IR has announced that two new self-propelled train set designs will be introduced starting from mid 2018. These two train types, termed as Train-18 and Train-20, are expected to replace locomotive-hauled trains on long distance routes.[41]

On regional short distance routes, IR runs Mainline Electrical Multiple Unit (MEMU) or Diesel Electrical Multiple Unit (DEMU) trains, depending on the traction available. These train sets are self-propelled with capability for faster acceleration or deceleration and are expected to reduce congestion on dense routes. Passenger locomotive-hauled trains, having frequent stops are slowly being replaced with train sets across India.[42]

On suburban commuter routes around the large urban centers, IR runs trains with Electric Multiple Unit (EMU) coaches. As of March 2017, about 9100 coaches are in operation.[43]

Manufacturing[edit]

Indian Railways is a vertically-integrated organization that produces majority of its rolling stock at in-house production units, with a few recent exceptions. The Chittaranjan Locomotive Works in Chittaranjan manufactures electric locomotives, and the Diesel Locomotive Works in Varanasi makes Diesel and Electric locomotives. The Diesel-Loco Modernisation Works in Patiala upgrades the WDM-2 locomotive from 2,600 to 3,100 hp. Some electric locomotives have been supplied by Bharat Heavy Electricals, and locomotive components are manufactured in other plants around the country.[44]

Coaches are produced at Integral Coach Factory, Rail Coach Factory and Modern Coach Factory located in different parts of the country. The Rail Wheel Factory at Yelahanka, Bangalore and the Rail Wheel Plant, Bela in Chhapra, Bihar manufactures wheels and axles.

The repair and maintenance of this vast fleet of rolling stock is carried out at 44 loco sheds, 212 carriage & wagon repair units and 45 periodic overhaul workshops located across various zones of IR.[43]

In November 2015, IR awarded USD 2.6bn locomotive supply and maintenance contract to General Electric. The contract stipulates that GE will import 40 locomotives and will produce another 960 over a period of 11 years in a new Diesel Locomotive Factory at Marhowra in the state of Bihar. On the same day, another USD 3bn contract has been awarded to Alstom SA to manufacture 800 high power electric locomotives (12000 HP) over 11 yeas in a new Electric Locomotive Factory at Madhepura.[45]

Network[edit]

Tracks[edit]

See also: Project Unigauge

As of March 2017, IR network spans 121,407 km (75,439 mi) of track length, while the route length is 67,368 km (41,861 mi).[4] Track sections are rated for speeds ranging from 80 to 200 km/h (50 to 124 mph), though the maximum speed attained by passenger trains is 180 km/h (110 mph).

1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in) broad gauge, is the predominant gauge used by IR and spans 61,680 km (38,330 mi) of route (92% of total route network). It is the broadest gauge in use across the world for passenger movement. [4] Broad gauge generated 100% of the freight output (Net tonne-Kilometres) and more than 99% of the passenger output (Passenger Kilometres) in the fiscal year 2016-17.[4]

The 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 38 in) metre gauge tracks; 762 mm (2 ft 6 in) and 610 mm (2 ft) narrow gauge tracks are present on fewer number of routes. All of these routes, except the heritage routes, are being converted to broad gauge. The metre gauge tracks were 3,479 kilometres (2,162 mi) (5% of total route network) and narrow gauges tracks were 2,208 km (1,372 mi) (3% of total route network) as of 31 March 2017.[update][4]

As of March 2017, most of the mainline broad-gauge network is equipped with long-welded rails, pre-stressed concrete (PSC) sleepers and high tensile strength 52kg/60kg 90 UTS rails.[4]

Electrification[edit]

Main article: Central Organisation for Railway Electrification

As of 31 March 2017, IR has electrified 25,367 km (15,762 mi) of the route kilometers or 48,239 km (29,974 mi) of the total running track. India uses 25 kV AC traction on all its electrified tracks.[3]

Railway electrification in India began with the first electric train, between Bombay Victoria Terminus and Kurla on the Harbour Line, on 3 February 1925 on the Great Indian Peninsula Railway (GIPR) at 1500 V DC. Heavy gradients in the Western Ghats necessitated the introduction of electric traction on the GIPR to Igatpuri on the North East line and Pune on the South East line. On 5 January 1928 1500 V DC traction was introduced on the suburban section of the Bombay, Baroda and Central India Railway between Colaba and Borivili, and between Madras Beach and Tambaram of the Madras and Southern Mahratta Railway on 11 May 1931, to meet growing traffic needs.

The 3000 V DC electrification of the Howrah-Burdwan section of the Eastern Railway was completed in 1958. The first 3000 V DC EMU service began on the Howrah-Sheoraphuli section on 14 December 1957.

Research and trials in Europe, particularly on French Railways (SNCF), indicated that 25 kV AC was an economical electrification system. Indian Railways decided in 1957 to adopt 25 kV AC as its standard, with SNCF their consultant in the early stages. The first 25 kV AC section was Raj Kharswan–Dongoaposi on the South Eastern Railway in 1960. The first 25 kV AC EMUs, for Kolkata suburban service, began service in September 1962. For continuity, the Howrah–Burdwan section of the Eastern Railway and the Madras Beach–Tambaram section of the Southern Railway were converted to 25 kV AC by 1968. Because of limitations in the DC traction system, a decision was made to convert to 25 kV AC in 1996-97. The conversion from DC to AC traction was completed in 2012 by the Western Railway, and in 2016 by the Central Railway. Since then, the entire electrified mainline rail network in India uses 25 kV AC, and DC traction is used only for metros and trams.

Indian Railways announced on 31 March 2017 that the country's entire rail network would be electrified by 2022.[46]

Signaling and Telecommunication[edit]

See also: Railway signal and Railway signalling

IR uses a range of signalling technologies and methods to manage its train operations based on traffic density and safety requirements.

As of March 2017, around 2,850 km (1,770 mi) of the route uses automatic block signalling for train operations - concentrated in high density routes, large cities and junctions[47]. Remaining routes are based on absolute block signalling with trains manually controlled by signal men from the signal boxes typically located at stations. Few low density routes still use manual block signalling methods with communication on track clearance based on physical exchange of tokens[48]. In a few sections, intermediate block signalling is provided to further enhance line capacity with minimal investment. As of March 2017. 501 block sections have intermediate block signals on IR.[47]

IR primarily uses coloured signal lights, which replaced semaphores and disc-based signalling (dependent on position or colour).[49] IR uses two-aspect, three-aspect and four (or multiple) aspect color signalling across its network.[50]

Signals at most stations are interlocked using Panel Interlocking, Route-Relay Interlocking or Electronic Interlocking methods that eliminate scope for human signalling errors. IR uses track circuiting, and block proving axle counters for train detection.

As of March 2017, 5584 stations across IR (about 90% of stations on Broad Gauge) have interlocked stations and multi-aspect signalling. Around 99% of key routes (A, B, C and D) have track circuitry or block proving axle counters for automated train detection. Also, IR has about 51,000 route kilometers of Optical Fiber Cable (OFC) network across India, that is used for train control, voice and data communication. Around 2,500 km (1,600 mi) of route is covered by GSM-R based Mobile Train Radio Communication[47].

In December 2017, IR announced that it will implement ETCS Level 2 system for signalling and control on key routes with an investment of ₹12,000 crore (US$1.8 billion)[51]. Currently IR uses Centralised Traffic Control (CTC) on the busy Ghaziabad - Kanpur route and real-time train monitoring systems on Mumbai and Kolkata suburban routes[47].

Links with adjacent countries[edit]

Rail links between India and neighboring countries are not well developed. Two trains operate to Pakistan: the Samjhauta Express between Delhi and Lahore, and the Thar Express between Jodhpur and Karachi. Bangladesh is connected by the biweekly Maitree Express that runs from Kolkata to Dhaka and Bandhan Express which began running commercial trips between Kolkata and Khulna in November 2017.[52][53] Two rail links to Nepal exist: passenger service between Jaynagar and Bijalpura and freight services between Raxaul and Birganj.[54]

Indian and Bangladeshi governments planned to start work by January 2015 on a new rail link to ease surface transport.[55] India will build a 13 km (8.1 mi) railway linking Tripura's capital Agartala with Bangladesh's southeastern city of Akhaura, an important railway junction connected to Chittagong port, resource-rich Sylhet and Dhaka.[56] An agreement to implement the railway project was signed between India's former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Bangladesh Premier Sheikh Hasina during her visit to India in January 2010.[57] Total cost of the proposed project is estimated at ₹252 crore (US$39 million). The Indian Railway Construction Company (IRCON) would lay the new railway tracks on both sides of the border. Of the 13 km (8.1 mi) rail line, 5 km (3.1 mi) of tracks fall in Indian territory.[58][59] The Northeast Frontier Railways (NFR) is laying the connecting tracks for the new rail link on the Indian side, up to Tripura's southern-most border town, Sabroom - 135 km (84 mi) south of the state capital, Agartala. From Sabroom, the Chittagong international sea port is 72 km (45 mi) away.[60]

No rail link exists with Myanmar but a railway line is to be built from Jiribam (in Manipur) to Tamu through Imphal and Moreh.[61] The construction of this missing link, as per the feasibility study conducted by the Ministry of External Affairs through RITES Ltd, is estimated to cost ₹29.41 billion (US$450 million).[62] An 18 km (11 mi) railway link with Bhutan is being constructed from Hashimara in West Bengal to Toribari in Bhutan. No rail link exists with either China or Sri Lanka.[63]

Services[edit]

Passenger service[edit]

Classes[edit]

Main articles: Indian Railways coaching stock and Urban rail transit in India

IR has several classes of travel, with or without air-conditioning. A train may have one or several classes. Slow passenger trains have only unreserved seating, and the Rajdhani Express, Shatabdi Express, Garib Rath Express, Double Decker Express, Tejas Express, Humsafar Express and Yuva Express have only air-conditioned classes. Fares for all classes differ, and unreserved seating is the least expensive. Fares for the Rajdhani, Duronto and Shatabdi trains include food. In September 2016, IR introduced dynamic fares for the Rajdhani, Duronto and Shatabdi trains (except 1AC and EC classes) to increase revenue.[64] Long-distance trains usually include a pantry car, and food is served at the berth or seat itself. Luxury trains (such as Palace on Wheels) have separate dining cars, but these trains cost as much as—or more than—a five-star hotel room.

A standard passenger rake has four unreserved (general) compartments, two at the front and two at the rear (one of which may be for women). The number of other coaches varies by demand and route. A luggage compartment may be at the front or the rear. On some mail trains, a separate mail coach is attached. Lavatories are communal, and Indian- and Western-style. The classes in operation are (although a train may not have all these classes):

Class[65]Description[66][67]
1AAC first class: The most luxurious and expensive class of Indian Railways, with fares almost at par with airfares. There are eight cabins (including two coupes) in full AC first class coach and three cabins (including one coupe) in the half AC first class coach. The coach has an attendant, and bedding is included in the fare. This air-conditioned coach, present only on popular routes, can carry 18 (full coach) or 10 passengers (half coach).
EAAnubhuthi: Air-conditioned top-end class of Shatabdi Express. These coaches were introduced in January 2018. First train to get these coaches is Chennai Central–Mysuru Shatabdi Express
2AAC two tier: These air-conditioned coaches have sleeping berths across eight bays. Berths are usually arranged in two tiers in bays of six: four across the width of the coach and two lengthwise across the corridor, with curtains along the corridor. Bedding is included in the fare. A coach can carry 48 (full coach) or 20 passengers (half coach).
FCFirst class: Similar to 1A, but without air-conditioning. No bedding is available in this class, and the berths are narrower than 1A. There is an attendant, and only heritage trains still have this class.
3AAC three tier: Air-conditioned coaches with 64 sleeping berths. Berths are similar to 2A, but with three tiers across the width and two lengthwise for eight bays of eight. They are slightly less well-appointed, usually with no reading lights or curtains. Bedding is included in the fare.
3EAC three tier (economy): Air-conditioned coaches with sleeping berths on the Garib Rath Express. Berths are usually arranged as in 3A, but with three tiers across the width and three llengthwise. Appointments are similar to 3A, and bedding is not included.
ECExecutive chair car: An air-conditioned coach with spacious seats and legroom. With four seats in a row, it is used for intercity day travel and is available on the Tejas and Shatabdi Express.
CCAC chair car: An air-conditioned coach with five seats in a row, used for intercity day travel. Air-conditioned double-deck coaches are used on the Double Decker Express.
SLSleeper class: The sleeper class is the most common coach on IR, with ten or more SL coaches attached to a train rake. They are sleeping coaches with three berths across the width and two lengthwise, without air-conditioning. They carry 72 passengers per coach.
2SSecond seater: similar to CC, without air-conditioning. Double-deck second seaters are used on the Flying Ranee.
UR/GENUnreserved/General: The least-expensive accommodation, with a seat not guaranteed. Tickets are valid on any train on a route if used within 24 hours of purchase.

At the rear of the train is the guard's cabin. It contains a transceiver, and is where the guard usually gives the all-clear signal before the train departs.

Train types[edit]

Main articles: Train numbering, Named passenger trains, Longest train services, and Longest non-stop run

Trains are sorted into categories which dictate the number of stops on a route, their priority on the network and their fare structure. Each express train is identified by a five-digit number. if the first digit is 1 or 2 in the train number, they are long-distance express trains. If the first digit is 0, the train is a special train which will operate for a limited period of time with a different fare structure. A first digit of 5 denotes a passenger train.

The second digit indicates the zone operating the train. However, for high-speed trains, the second digit is either 0 or 2 (the first remains 1 or 2);[68]. The third digit denotes the division within the zone which is responsible for maintenance and cleanliness, and the last two digits are the train's serial number.[68] The train numbering system was changed from four digits from December 2010,[69] to accommodate an increasing number of trains.

Trains traveling in opposite directions along the same route are usually labelled with consecutive numbers.[68] However, there is considerable variation in train numbers; some zones, such as Central Railway, have a less-systematic method of numbering trains.[68]

Trains are classified by average speed.[70] A faster train has fewer stops (halts) than a slower one, and is usually used for long-distance travel. Most express trains have special names to identify them easily. The names of the trains usually denote the regions they connect, the routes they traverse; a famous person or a tourist spot connected with the train.[71][72]

S.noTrainDescription
1Tejas ExpressA semi-high-speed, air-conditioned train which had its inaugural run on 24 May 2017, covering 551.7 kilometres (343 mi) in eight hours, 30 minutes. Coaches have bio-vacuum toilets, water-level indicators, tap sensors, hand dryers, integrated Braille displays, an LED TV for each passenger with a phone jack, local cuisine, Wi-Fi, tea and coffee vending machines, magazines, snack tables, CCTV cameras and a fire and smoke detection and extinguishing system.
2Gatimaan ExpressThe first semi-high-speed, air-conditioned train running between Delhi and Agra. With a speed of 160 km/h (99 mph), it is India's fastest train and takes 100 minutes to cover 188 km (117 mi).
3Shatabdi ExpressAir-conditioned, intercity trains for daytime travel. Unlike the Rajdhani or Duronto Expresses, the Shatabdi expresses make a round trip on the same day. The Bhopal Shatabdi Express (train number 12001/12002) is India's second-fastest train between New Delhi and Agra, with an average speed of 90 km/h (56 mph) and a top speed of 150 kilometres per hour (93 mph). The limited-stop trains have Wi-Fi.[73]
4Rajdhani ExpressLimited-stop, air-conditioned trains linking major cities to New Delhi, they have a top speed of 130–140 km/h (81–87 mph). The 2014 railway budget proposed increasing the Rajdhani and Shatabdi Expresses to 180 km/h (110 mph).
5Duronto ExpressNon-stop (except for technical halts) service introduced in 2009. In January 2016, it became possible to book tickets from those technical stops. They connect India's metros and major state capitals, and were introduced to equal (or exceed) the speed of the Rajdhani Express. With air-conditioned one-, two- and three-tier seating, some have non-air-conditioned sleeper-class accommodations.
6Humsafar ExpressAir-conditioned, three-tier coach trains with LED screens displaying information about stations and train speed, a PA system, vending machines for tea and coffee, charging ports for electronic devices, bio-toilets, smoke alarms, CCTV cameras, curtains and heating and refrigeration facilities for food.
7AC ExpressAir-conditioned, limited-stop trains linking major cities, with a speed of about 130 km/h (81 mph).
8Double Decker ExpressAir-conditioned, limited-stop, two-tier express trains for daytime travel
9Uday ExpressAir Conditioned double decker train for over night travel.
10Garib RathAir-conditioned, economy, three-tier trains with a top speed of 130 km/h (81 mph)
11Yuva ExpressIntroduced with the Duronto Express to provide air-conditioned travel to young Indians, 60 percent of its seats were reserved for passengers between 18 and 45 years of age. The trains were unsuccessful, and operate only on the Delhi-Howrah and Delhi-Mumbai routes.
12Jan Shatabdi ExpressA more-economical version of the Shatabdi Express, with air-conditioned and non-air-conditioned classes and a top speed of 110 km/h (68 mph)
13Sampark Kranti ExpressExpress service to New Delhi
14Kavi Guru ExpressIntroduced in honor of Rabindranath Tagore, four pairs of the trains operate on the network.
15Vivek ExpressIntroduced to commemorate the 150th birth Anniversary of Swami Vivekananda in 2013, four pairs of Vivek Expresses run in the country.
16Rajya Rani ExpressIntroduced to connect state capitals to major cities in that state.
17Mahamana ExpressSuperfast train with Indian Railways ModelRake coaches
18Intercity ExpressIntroduced to connect major cities on short routes with high and semi-high speeds. Trains include the Deccan Queen, Flying Ranee and Bilaspur Nagpur Intercity Express.
19Antyodaya ExpressNon-reserved, high-speed LHB coaches on peak routes to ease congestion
20Jan Sadharan ExpressNon-reserved express trains on peak routes to ease congestion
21Premium ExpressHigh priority trains with dynamic pricing on high demand routes. These trains are also called as Suvidha Express
22Superfast Express/MailTrains with a speed greater than 100–110 km/h (62–68 mph), whose tickets have a superfast surcharge
23Express/MailsIndia's most common train type, with stops at relatively-important intermediate stations
24Fast Passenger and PassengerSlow, economical trains which stop at every (or almost every) station on a route. With generally-unreserved seating, some night trains have sleeper and three-tier air-conditioned compartments. The trains travel at about 40–80 km/h (25–50 mph).
25Suburban trainsThese trains operate in Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Pune and between Kanpur and Lucknow, usually stop at every station, and have unreserved seating.
26MetroDesigned for urban transport, the first metro was the Kolkata Metro.
27Luxury TrainsIR operates luxury trains, such as the Palace on Wheels, Royal Rajasthan on Wheels, Maharaja Express, Deccan Odyssey, The Golden Chariot and the Mahaparinirvan Express. The Fairy Queen, a tourist attraction as the world's oldest operating steam engine, hauls a luxury train from Delhi to Alwar.
28Mountain RailwaysThree of the lines were declared a World Heritage site as Mountain Railways of India by UNESCO.[74]

Rail Tourism[edit]

Indian Railway operates tourist train or coach services on popular tourist circuits in different regions of the country. The service offers tour packages inclusive of rail travel, local transportation, accommodation, food and guided tours. IR offers various tourist services in this segment including Luxury tourist trains, Semi luxury trains, Buddhist special trains, Bharat Darshan trains, Aastha Circuit trains and Steam trains.[75]

The Palace on Wheels is a luxury-train service, frequently hauled by a steam locomotive, to promote tourism in Rajasthan.[76] The train has a seven-night, eight-day itinerary on a round trip from New Delhi via Jaipur, Sawai Madhopur

WDM-3D broad-gauge diesel locomotive
Comparison of gauges in India with the standard gauge
Interior of a three-tier compartment on the Dakshin Express

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 subcontinent.
 

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’s 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.

Indian Railways is a multi-gauge, multi-traction system covering the following:

 

Narrow Gauge (762/610 mm)

 

 

 

 

 

Other Interesting facts of Indian Railways

Indian Railways runs aroun
d 11,000 trains everyday, of which 7,000 are passenger trains

 

7566 -  locomotives

37,840  -  Coaching vehicles

222,147 -  Freight wagons

6853  -  Stations 

300  - Yards

2300  -  Good sheds

700  -  Repair shops

1.54 million - Work force

 

Territorial Readjustment of Zones and In-House Reforms

In order to bring about greater efficiency in administration, speedy implementation of on-going projects, better customer care, reduction of workload on General Managers etc., Indian Railways have decided to create seven new zones by territorial re-adjustment of existing zones. The new zones, having limited financial burden on Railways, will have thin and lean, efficient and modern administrative set up. Two of the new zones have already started functioning.

National Rail Vikas Yojana

With a view to complete strategically important projects within a stipulated period of time, a non-budgetary investment initiative for the development of Railways has been launched.. Under the scheme all the capacity bottlenecks in the critical sections of the railway network will be removed at an investment of Rs.15,000 crore over the next five years. These projects would include:

1.Strengthening of the golden Quadrilateral to run more long-distance mail/express and freight trains at a higher speed of 100 kmph.

2.Strengthening of rail connectivity to ports and development of multi-modal corridors to hinterland.

3.Construction of four mega bridges - two over River Ganga, one over River Brahmaputra, and one over River Kosi.

4.Accelerated completion of those projects nearing completion and other important projects.

New Steps towards Safety and Security :

Safety of 13 million passengers that Indian Railways serve every day is of paramount importance to the system. Over the years, apart from the regular safety norms followed, the network has taken a number of steps through innovative use of technology and stepped up training to its manpower to enhance safety standards. Constitution of Rs.17,000 crore non-lapsable Special Railway Safety Fund (SRSF) to replace the arrears of aging assets of Railways over the next six years has been a historical move in this direction. A number of distressed bridges, old tracks, signalling system and other safety enhancement devices will be replaced during this period. As far as budget allocation for safety is concerned, Rs.1,400 crore was allocated in the revised estimate for the year 2001-02 and Rs.2,210 crore for the year 2002-2003. Extensive field trials of the Anti-Collision Device (ACD), indigenously developed by Konkan Railway, is going on and once deployed across the Zonal Railways, this innovative technology will help railways reduce accidents due to collision between trains.

Security of railway passengers is at present a shared responsibility of the Railway Protection Force (RPF) and the Government Reserve Police (GRP). Efforts are on to amend the Railway Act to give more powers to the RPF in ensuring security of passengers on trains and within Railway premises. Deployment of women police Force has been made for security and assistance of women passengers.

Improving Financial Health :

The financial position of Indian Railways has been slowly but steadily improving. Some of the highlights of the financial performance during 2001-02 include: improved operating ratio from 98.8 per cent to 96.6 per cent, savings in ordinary working expenses of Rs.1,487 crore, Depreciation Reserve Fund (DRF) balance goes up from Rs. 78.04 crore during March last year to Rs.632.99 crore during same time this year. Railways have established a new milestone in incremental freight loading during July this year by carrying 5.70 million tonnes of goods. Freight loading for the last financial year crossed the target and attained 492.31 million tonnes.

New Trends in Passenger Amenities :

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