Ministry of Railways
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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.


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

Track Kilometers
Broad Gauge
(1676 mm)
Meter Gauge
(1000 mm)
Narrow Gauge (762/610 mm)
Route Kilometers


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:


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