Rail transport in India is one of the most common modes of long-distance transport. Rail operations are largely run by a state-owned company, Indian Railways. The rail network traverses the length and width of the country, covering a total length of 63,140 km (39,233 miles). It is said to be the 4th largest railway network in the world, transporting over 7 billion passengers and over 350 million tonnes of freight annually. Its operations cover twenty-five states and three union territories and also link the neighbouring countries of Nepal, Bangladesh and Pakistan. Railways were introduced to India in 1853, and by the time of India's independence in 1947 they had grown to forty-two rail systems. In 1951 the systems were nationalised as one unit—Indian Railways—to form one of the largest networks in the world. Locomotives manufactured at several places in India are assigned codes identifying their gauge, kind of power and type of operation. Colour signal lights are used as signals, but in some remote areas of operation, the older semaphores and discs-based signalling are still in use. Accommodation classes range from general through first class AC. Trains have been classified according to speed and area of operation. Many trains are officially identified by a four-digit code, though many are commonly known by unique names also. The ticketing system has been computerised to a large extent, and there are reserved as well as unreserved categories of tickets.
The Mumbai Suburban Railway, as well as Indian Railways, are an offshoot of the first railway to be built by the British in India in April 1853, and was also the oldest railway system in Asia. The first train ran between Mumbai and Thane, a distance of 34 km. The Bombay Railway History Group has been striving to document railway heritage along this line.
Due to the geographical spread of the population and location of business areas, the rail network is the principal mode of mass transport in Mumbai. As Mumbai's population swelled from a heavy inflow of migrants in recent decades, frequent overcrowding has become a serious issue, and numerous safety concerns have been raised over the years. A metro system and a monorail system are under construction in Mumbai to ease the travelling conditions in the Suburban network.
Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus , formerly Victoria Terminus, and better known by its abbreviation CST or Bombay VT, is a historic railway station in Mumbai which serves as the headquarters of the Central Railways.It is the first station in India, then called Bori Bunder. It is one of the busiest railway stations in India. It is the only railway station to be a UNESCO World Heritage. The station building was designed in the Victorian Gothic style of architecture, by Axel Herman and Frederick William Stevens. It was constructed by 1897, by Frederick William Stevens at a cost of Rs.16,14,000/-(then).
July 20 – The government of Andra Pradesh announces that among the eight companies that submitted proposals, Larsen & Toubro is the preferred bidder for construction of the Hyderabad Metro in India, costing a proposed 122 billion. The state and federal governments will each finance 20% of the project while Larsen & Toubro will finance the remaining 60%. The project is expected to be completed in 2014. (Railway Gazette)
June 6 - Passengers of the Hazrat Nizamuddin-VisakhapatnamSamata Express had a narrow escape when its engine derailed near Arand railway station in Chhattisgarh, but no one was injured. Rail services through the track were affected for about five hours due to the derailment at an area between Arand and Bhimkhoj stations in Raipur section. The cause of derailment is yet to be ascertained, officials said.The Hindu