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Indian Railways Overview

Indian Railway Map | Overview of India

The history of Indian Railways dates back to the British Raj.The idea of establishing a rail network in India was first mooted by the British authority in consideration of the huge size of the country, not unmixed with political, strategic and economic expediencies. Britain needed a fast and reliable transport system for troop movement (to counter armed rebellion) and for exploitation of the vast resources of India.

Thus the first railways in the sub-continent came into being on 16th April, 1853.

It ran over a stretch 21 miles from Bombay to Thane “amidst the loud applause of a vast multitude and the salute of 21 guns”. Shortly after, the first passenger train steamed out of Howrah station destined for Hooghly, a distance of 24 miles on 15th August, 1854.

Since then the Indian railways has not looked back and made impressive strides in shouldering a major share of transportation needs in the country.

In a short period, the Indian Railways has earned the distinction of being the largest railway network in the world. Operating on more than 1,07,000 track kilometers, it carries more than 11 million passengers in a day and transport 40% of the freight.

Now , the Indian Railways system is divided into 9 zonal railways, a metro railway, Calcutta, the production units, construction organizations, and other railway establishments. Each division , presented in the table below, is usually headed by a general manager.

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S.No. Zones in the Indian Railways Headquarters
1 Central Mumbai
2 Eastern Calcutta
3 Northern New Delhi
4 North Eastern Gorakhpur
5 North East Frontier Maligaon(Guwahati)
6 Southern Chennai
7 South Central Secunderabad
8 South Eastern Calcutta
9 Western Mumbai

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