|Founded||16 April 1853 |
|Headquarters||New Delhi, India|
Catering and Tourism Services
Parking lot operations
Other related services
|Revenue||₹1.683 trillion (US$26 billion) (2015–16)|
|₹105.05 billion (US$1.6 billion) (2015–16)|
|Owner||Government of India|
Number of employees
|1.331 million (March 2016)|
|Parent||Ministry of Railways through Railway Board|
|Divisions||17 Railways Zones|
Schematic network map of the Indian Railways
Map of Indian Railways network with population density
|Dates of operation||16 April 1853–Present|
|Track gauge||1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in)
1,000 mm (3 ft 3 3⁄8 in)
762 mm (2 ft 6 in)
610 mm (2 ft)
|Length||66,687 kilometres (41,437 mi) (route)
92,081 kilometres (57,216 mi) (running track)
119,630 kilometres (74,330 mi) (total track)
Indian Railways (reporting mark IR) is a state-owned railway company, responsible for rail transport in India. It is owned and operated by the Government of India through the Ministry of Railways. It is fourth largest railway network in the world comprising 119,630 kilometres (74,330 mi) of total track and 92,081 km (57,216 mi) of running track over a route of 66,687 km (41,437 mi) with 7,216 stations at the end of 2015-16. In 2015-16, IR carried 8.107 billion passengers annually or more than 22 million passengers a day and 1.101 billion tons of freight annually.
Railways first introduced to India in 1853 from Bombay to Thane. In 1951 the systems were nationalised as one unit, the Indian Railways, becoming one of the largest networks in the world. IR operates both long distance and suburban rail systems predominantly on a network of broad gauge. Small stretches of its network use metre and narrow gauges. It also owns locomotive and coach production facilities at several places in India, with assigned codes identifying their gauge, kind of power and type of operation. Its services cover twenty-six states and three union territories across India, and also has international connectivity to Bangladesh (with Bangladesh Railway) and Pakistan (with Pakistan Railways).
Indian Railways is the world's eighth biggest employer and had 1.331 million employees at the end of 2015-16. In 2015–2016 Indian Railways had revenues of ₹1.683 trillion (US$26 billion) which consists of ₹1.069 trillion (US$17 billion) freight earnings and ₹442.83 billion (US$6.9 billion) passengers earnings. It had operating ratio of 90.5% in 2015-16. As on the end of 2015-16, IR's rolling stock comprises over 251,256 Freight Wagons, 70,241 Passenger Coaches and 11,122 Locomotives (39 steam, 5,869 diesel and 5214 electric locomotives).
Indian Railways run on average 13,313 passenger trains daily in 2015-16. Mail or Express trains, most common type, run at average speed of 50.9 km/hr. The trains have a 5 digit numbering system. As of at the end of 2015-16, of the total 68,525 km (42,579 mi) route length, 28,327 km (17,602 mi) (45%) was electrified and 28,371 km (17,629 mi) (37%) was Double or Multiple line route.
- 1 History
- 2 Organisational structure
- 3 Railway zones
- 4 Tracks
- 5 Electrification
- 6 Rolling stock
- 7 Accommodation classes
- 8 Research and development
- 9 Types of passenger services
- 10 Notable trains
- 11 UNESCO world heritage sites
- 12 Recruitment and Training
- 13 Links to adjacent countries
- 14 Gallery
- 15 See also
- 16 References
- 17 Further reading
- 18 External links
The history of railway transport in India began in the mid-nineteenth century. The core of the pressure for building railways In India came from London. In 1848, there was not a single kilometre of railway line in India. The country's first railway, built by the Great Indian Peninsula Railway (GIPR). Opened in 1853, between Bombay and Thane. The East Indian Railway Company was established 1 June 1845 in London by a deed of settlement with a capital of £4,000,000, primarily raised in London. The Great Southern India Railway Co. was founded in Britain in 1853 and registered in 1859. Construction of track in Madras Presidency began in 1859 and the 80-mile link from Trichinopoly to Negapatam was opened in 1861. The Carnatic Railway founded in 1864, opened a Madras-Arakkonam-Kancheepuram line in 1865. The Great Southern India Railway Company was subsequently merged with the Carnatic Railway Company in 1874 to form the South Indian Railway Company.
A British engineer, Robert Maitland Brereton, was responsible for the expansion of the railways from 1857 onwards. The Allahabad-Jabalpur branch line of the East Indian Railway had been opened in June 1867. Brereton was responsible for linking this with the GIPR, 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 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 India. 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, Rajputana and Madras Presidency and soon various autonomous kingdoms began to have their own rail systems. In 1905, a new Railway Board was constituted, but the powers were formally vested 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. Large scale corruption by British officials involved in the running of these railways companies was rampant. Profits were never reinvested in the development of British colonial India. In 1920, with the network having expanded to 61,220 km (38,040 mi), 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 and 1929 was a period of economic boom; there were 41,000 mi (66,000 km) of railway lines serving the country; the railways represented a capital value of some 687 million sterling; and they carried over 620 million passengers and approximately 90 million tons of goods each year. Following the Great Depression, the railways suffered economically for the next eight years. The Second World War severely crippled the railways. Starting in 1939, about 40% of the rolling stock including locomotives and coaches was taken to the Middle East. The railway workshops were converted to ammunition workshops, and many railway tracks were dismantled to help the Allies in the war. By 1946, all railway systems had been taken over by the government.
The apex management organisation is the Railway Board, also called the Ministry of Railways. The board is headed by a Chairman who reports to the Minister of Railways. The board has five other members in addition to the chairman. The General Managers of the Zonal Railways and the production units report to the board.
Indian Railways is cash strapped and reported a loss of ₹300 billion (US$4.7 billion) in the passenger segment for the year ending March 2014. Operating ratio, a key metric used by Indian railways to gauge financial health, is 109% for the period April - Dec in 2016. Railways carry a social obligation of over ₹200 billion (US$3.1 billion). The loss per passenger-km increased to 23 paise (0.36¢ US) by the end of March 2014. Indian Railways is left with a surplus cash of just ₹6.9 billion (US$110 million) by the end of March 2014.
It was estimated in 2014 that over ₹5 trillion (US$78 billion) is required to complete the ongoing projects alone. The railway is consistently losing market share to other modes of transport both in freight and passengers.
New rail line projects are often announced during the Railway Budget annually without securing additional funding for them. Between 2004 and 2014, 99 New Line projects worth ₹600 billion (US$9.3 billion) were sanctioned out of which only one project is complete till date, and there are four projects that are as old as 30 years but are still not complete for one reason or another.
Indian Railways is divided into 17 zones, which are further sub-divided into divisions. The number of zones in Indian Railways increased from six to eight in 1951, nine in 1966 and sixteen in 2003. 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 zone is headed by a general manager, 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, security and safety branches, report to the respective Divisional Railway 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 train movements through the track territory under their stations' administration.
The chart below briefly depicts the Indian Railway's zones, Route Km, number of stations and divisions.
The total track length of network is 119,640 km (74,340 mi) while the total route length of the network is 66,687 km (41,437 mi). Track sections are rated for speeds ranging from 80 to 220 km/h (50 to 137 mph), though trains don't really clock speeds of 200 km/h. Maximum speed attained by passenger trains is 177 km/h-180 km/h (110 mph).
Indian gauge 1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in) (a broad gauge) is the predominant gauge used by Indian Railways with 108,500 km (67,400 mi) of track length (94% of entire track length of all the gauges) and 59,400 km (36,900 mi) of route-kilometre (91% of entire route-kilometre of all the gauges). It is the widest gauge in passenger use in the world. The first railway line built in India was broad gauge line from Bori Bunder (now Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus) to Thane in 1853.
Urban rail transit lines which serve the urban areas are in 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in) standard gauge (except suburban rail which is in Indian gauge). These encompass metro, monorail and trams. As of 2016, lines in operation are Kolkata (Calcutta) tram system, Delhi Metro, Rapid MetroRail Gurgaon, the Bangalore Metro and the Mumbai Metro. These lines are not operated by Indian Railways.
On decreasing routes, the 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 3⁄8 in) metre gauge and 762 mm (2 ft 6 in) and 610 mm (2 ft) narrow gauges are present. These were initially introduced in hilly regions for cost considerations and simpler engineering. The metre gauge has about 5,000 km (3,100 mi) of track length (4% of entire track length of all the gauges) and 4,100 km (2,500 mi) of route-kilometre (6% of entire route-kilometre of all the gauges), while narrow gauges have 1,500 km (930 mi) route-kilometre (2% of entire route-kilometre of all the gauges), as of 31 March 2016.
Electrification started in India with the inauguration of the first electric train between Victoria Terminus now Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus and Kurla on 3 February 1925 on the then existing Great Indian Peninsula Railway (GIP) at 1500 V DC. The electric traction on the Central Railway was extended up to Igatpuri on the North East line and to Pune on the South East line. 1500 volt DC traction was introduced on the Western Railway between Colaba and Borivili on 5 January 1928 and between Madras Beach and Tambaram of the Southern Railway on 11 May 1931. This was primarily to meet the growing traffic on these metros. Till Independence, India had 388 km of electrification on DC traction.
In the post independence era, electrification of the Howrah-Burdwan section of the Eastern Railway was done at 3000 volt DC during the First Five Year Plan period and completed in 1958. The electric multiple unit (EMU) services were inaugurated in Howrah-Sheoraphuli section on 14 December 1957.
Indian Railways decided in 1957 to adopt the 25 kV AC system of electrification as a standard, with SNCF as their consultant in the initial stages. 25 kV AC traction is the most widely used electric traction in the world. The first section electrified on the 25 kV AC system was Raj Kharswan — Dongoaposi on the South Eastern Railway in 1960. The Howrah — Burdwan section of the Eastern Railway and Madras Beach — Tambaram section of the Southern Railway were converted to the 25 kV AC system by 1968. Considering the limitations in the existing 1500 volt DC, a decision was taken to convert to 25 kV AC traction during 1996-97. Conversion from DC traction to AC traction completed in the year 2012 by Western Railway and in 2016 by Central Railway.
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Locomotives in India consist of electric and diesel locomotives. The world's first CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) locomotives are also being used. Steam locomotives are no longer used, except in heritage trains. In India, locomotives are classified according to their 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 Alternating current (Electric), and the third letter denotes the kind of traffic for which they are suited (goods, passenger, Multi 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 the fifth letter in its name which 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-3D would be a 3400 hp loco and WDM-3F would be 3600 hp loco.
Diesel Locomotives are now fitted with Auxiliary Power Units which saves nearly 88% of Fuel during the idle time when train is not running.
The number of goods wagons was 205,596 on 31 March 1951 and reached the maximum number 405,183 on 31 March 1980 after which it started declining and was 239,321 on 31 March 2012. The number is far less than the requirement, and the Indian Railways keeps losing freight traffic to road. Indian Railways carried 93 million tonnes of goods in 1950–51, and it increased to 1010 million tonnes in 2012–13.
However, its share in goods traffic is much lower than road traffic. In 1951, its share was 65%, and the share of the road was 35%. Now the shares have been reversed, and the proportion of railways has declined to 30% and the share of road has increased to 70%.
Indian Railways has several types of passenger coaches.
Electric Multiple Unit (EMU) coaches are used for suburban traffic in large cities – mainly Mumbai, Chennai, Delhi, Kolkata, Pune, Hyderabad and Bangalore. These coaches numbered 7,793 on 31 March 2012. They have second class and first class seating accommodation.
Passenger coaches numbered 46,722 on 31 March 2012. Other coaches (luggage coach, parcel van, guard's coach, mail coach, etc.) numbered 6,560 on 31 March 2012.
Indian Railways earns about 70% of its revenues from freight traffic (₹686.2 billion from freight and ₹304.6 billion from passengers in 2011–12). Most of its profits come from transporting freight, and this makes up for losses on passenger traffic. It deliberately keeps its passenger fares low and cross-subsidises the loss-making passenger traffic with the profit-making freight traffic.
Since the 1990s, Indian Railways has stopped single-wagon consignments and provides only full rake freight trains
Wagon types include:
- BOXN = BOXN-HL, BOXN-HS, BOXN-HL, BOXN-CR,BOXN-LW,BOXN-AL,BOXN-EL.
Indian Railways has several classes of travel with or without air conditioning. A train may have just one or many classes of travel. Slow passenger trains have only unreserved seating class whereas Rajdhani, Duronto, Shatabdi, Garib Rath and Yuva trains have only air-conditioned classes. The fares for all classes are different with unreserved seating class being the cheapest. The fare of Rajdhani, Duronto and Shatabdi trains includes food served in the train, but the fare for other trains does not include food that has to be bought separately. From September 2016, the Indian Railways have introduced dynamic fares for all accommodation classes for Rajdhani, Duronto and Shatabdi trains(except 1AC and EC classes) to shore up revenue. In long-distance trains a pantry car is usually included and the 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 (also called "general") compartments, two at the front and two at the end, of which one may be exclusively for ladies. The exact number of other coaches varies according to the demand and the route. A luggage compartment can also exist at the front or the back. In some mail trains, a separate mail coach is attached. Lavatories are communal and feature both the Indian style as well as the Western style.
The following table lists the classes in operation. A train may not have all these classes.
|1A||First class AC: This is the most expensive class, where the fares are almost at par with airfare. 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. This air conditioned coach is present only on popular routes 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.|
|2A||AC 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 berths longways on the other side of the corridor, with curtains along the gangway or corridor. Bedding is included with the fare. A coach can carry 48 passengers (full coach) or 20 passengers (half coach).|
|FC||First class: Similar as 1A, but without 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 has been phased out completely. However, heritage railways to hill stations have this class.|
|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.|
|3E||AC three tier (Economy): Air conditioned coaches with sleeping berths, present in Garib Rath Express trains. Berths are usually arranged as in 3A 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.|
|EC||Executive class chair car: An air-conditioned seater 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.|
|CC||AC chair car: An air-conditioned seater coach with a total of five seats in a row used for day travel between cities. AC Double Deck sitter coaches are used in Double Decker Express.|
|SL||Sleeper: The sleeper class is the most common coach on the Indian Railways, and usually ten or more coaches of SL arebe attached to a train rake. These are regular sleeping coaches with three berths vertically stacked, without air conditioning. It carries 72 passengers per coach. The new LHB Sleeper coaches can carry up to 80 passengers.|
|2S||Second Seater: similar as CC, without the air-conditioning. These may be reserved in advance or may be unreserved. Non-AC Double Deck sitter was introduced to few Mumbai-Pune trains and the Flying Ranee. However, Flying Ranee and Valsad Passenger are only the trains that use Non-AC Double Decker sitter coaches.|
|GEN||General: This is the cheapest accommodation. These coaches are usually over-crowded, and a seat is not guaranteed. Tickets are issued in advance 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.|
Research and development
Indian Railways has a full-fledged organisation known as Research Designs and Standards Organisation (RDSO), located at Lucknow for all research, designs and standardisation tasks.
In August 2013, Indian Railways entered into a partnership with Indian Institute of Technology (Madras) to develop technology to trap solar energy for lighting and air-conditioning in the coaches. This would significantly reduce the fossil fuel dependency for Indian Railways.
Recently it developed and tested the Improved Automated Fire Alarm System in Rajdhani Express Trains. It is intended that the system be applied to AC coaches of all regular trains.
In recent years, Indian Railways has undertaken several initiatives to upgrade its ageing infrastructure and enhance its quality of service. The Indian government plans to invest ₹9.05 trillion (US$140 billion) to upgrade the railways by 2020. Indian Railways is refurbishing 12-15 year old coaches at Carriage Rehabilitation Workshop in Bhopal to enhance passenger amenities and fire safety measures.
Bio-toilets on railways
The bio-toilets, which have been developed by the railways and the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), have a colony of anaerobic bacteria, kept in a container under the lavatories that convert human waste into water and small amounts of gases. The gases are released into the atmosphere and the water is discharged after chlorination on to the track. The railways currently uses flush toilets in trains, in which human waste is dumped directly on the track. This makes the environment unhygienic and railway stations an eyesore, apart from the fact that the faecal matter corrodes the tracks.
Southern Railways officials say that except for the first- and two-tier AC coaches of Uzhavan Express, the remaining 34 coaches have been fitted with bio-toilets. "These toilets aim at zero defecation on the ground," says Vinay Srivastava, former director-in-charge of the bio-toilet project who is currently working as Director, Ministry of Environment and Forests.
More bio-toilets have been fitted into coaches clarification needed]more than the total bio-toilets fitted in the last three years. According to an IR source, the number of bio-toilets fitted in passenger train coaches from April to July this year [clarification needed] was 2,285, against 1,337 bio-toilets fitted during 2012-13, 169 during 2011-12, and 57 during 2010-11.[
In 2015, plans were disclosed for building two locomotive factories in the state of Bihar, at Madhepura (electric locomotive) and at Marhaura (Diesel Locomotive). Both factories involve foreign partnerships. The diesel locomotive works will be jointly operated in a partnership with General Electric, which has invested ₹20.52 billion (US$320 million) for its construction, and the electric locomotive works with Alstom, which has invested ₹12.935 billion (US$200 million). The factories will provide Indian Railways with 800 electric locomotives of 12,000 horse power each, and a mix of 1,000 diesel locomotives of 4,500 and 6,000 horsepower each. In November 2015, further details of the ₹146.56 billion (US$2.3 billion) partnership with GE were announced: Indian Railways and GE would engage in an 11-year joint venture in which GE would hold a majority stake of 74%. Under the terms of the joint venture, Indian Railways would purchase 100 goods locomotives a year for 10 years beginning in 2017; the locomotives would be modified versions of the GE Evolution series. The diesel locomotive works will be built by 2018; GE will import the first 100 locomotives and manufacture the remaining 900 in India from 2019, also assuming responsibility for their maintenance over a 13-year period. In the same month, a ₹200 billion (US$3.1 billion) partnership with Alstom to supply 800 electric locomotives from 2018 to 2028 was announced.
Types of passenger services
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||Gatimaan Express||It is a semi high speed train that runs between Delhi and Agra in India. It operates at a speed of 160 km/h (99 mph) and is the fastest train in India. The train takes a travel time of 100 minutes to cover 188 km (117 mi) journey from Hazrat Nizamuddin to Agra Cantonment railway stations.|
|2||Shatabdi Express||The Shatabdi trains are air-conditioned, intercity trains for travel during daytime. Unlike the Rajdhani or Duronto Expresses, all Shatabdi expresses, it makes a round trip on same day. The Bhopal Shatabdi Express (Train no: 12001/12002) is one of the fastest train in India, between New Delhi and Agra cantonment, this train travels at an average speed of 90 km/h (56 mph) and touches top speed of 150 kilometres per hour (93 mph). They have seats and executive class seats, Some also have 3-tier AC berth. They have limited stops. Indian Railway is planning to introduce Wi-Fi services, New Delhi - Kalka Shatabdi Express being first train for trials.|
|3||Rajdhani Express||These are air-conditioned trains linking major cities to New Delhi. They have high priority and are one of the fastest trains in India, travelling at a maximum speed of around 130–140 km/h (81–87 mph). They have limited stops. In the Railway budget of 2014, it was proposed that the speed of Rajdhani express, and Shatabdi Expresses would be increased up 180 km/h (110 mph).|
|4||Duronto Express||These are the non-stop (except for technical halts) point to point rail services introduced for the first time in 2009. They connect the metros and major state capitals of India and were introduced to travel as fast or faster than the Rajdhani Express. They provide first AC, two-tier AC and three-tier AC accommodation. Some of them provide non air-conditioned Sleeper Class accommodation.|
|5||AC Express||These are fully air-conditioned trains linking major cities in the country. They have high priority and are one of the fastest trains in India, travelling at about 130 km/h (81 mph). They have limited stops.|
|6||Tejas Express||Same as Shatabdi Express, these are fully air-conditioned single floor express trains. They have high priority and have limited stops. But unlike the Shatabdi Express these trains are sleeper trains used for long distance hauling.|
|7||Double Decker Express||Same as Shatabdi Express, these are fully air-conditioned two floor express trains. They have high priority and are among fast trains in India. They have limited stops. These trains are used for daytime travel.|
|8||Uday Express||Same as Double Decker Express, these are fully air-conditioned two floor express trains. They have high priority and have limited stops. These trains have berth facility and are used for night travel.|
|9||Jan Shatabdi Express||Jan Shatabdi Express are more affordable variety of the Shatabdi Express, which have both AC and non-AC classes. The maximum speed is 110 km/h (68 mph). They have fewer stops.|
|10||Garib Rath||Air-conditioned no-frills trains with seats and 3-tier Economy AC berths. The maximum speed is 130 km/h (81 mph). Some of them have AC Chair cars also.|
|11||Humsafar Express||These are fully AC 3 tier coaches trains. It is also called semi-luxury train. These train provide so many facilities like LED screen display to show information about stations and train speed, Speakers for announcement system, Vending machines for tea and coffee, Charging ports for charging electronic devices such as mobiles and laptops, Bio toilets in compartments, Safety measures in compartments such as introduction of smoke alarms and CCTV cameras,Heating chamber as well as a refrigerating box for keeping food, curtains to maintain privacy, Providing with new khadi bed rolls etc.|
|12||Sampark Kranti Express||These are a series of trains which provide super fast Express-like connectivity to the national capital Delhi. These trains have higher priority than Super Express / Mail.|
|13||Yuva Express||These trains were started along with Duronto Express trains to provide air conditioned travel to youth of the country. Sixty percent of the seats of these trains were reserved for passengers between 18 – 45 years of age. These trains did not enjoy much success. Today these trains only operate on the Delhi - Howrah and Delhi - Mumbai routes.|
|14||Kavi Guru Express||These trains were introduced in honor of Rabindranath Tagore. Currently four pairs of these trains operate on the Indian Railways network.|
|15||Vivek Express||These trains were introduced to commemorate the 150th birth Anniversary of Swami Vivekananda in 2013. Currently four pairs of Vivek Express run in the country.|
|16||Superfast Express/Mail||These trains travel at a speed greater than 100–110 km/h (62–68 mph). Tickets for these trains have an additional superfast surcharge.|
|17||Intercity Express||These trains were introduced to connect important cities for short routes. These appear in both Superfast Express speed and Express speed category. Some of the famous legendary Intercity Express are Deccan Queen and Flying Ranee.|
|18||Rajya Rani Express||These trains were introduced to connect state capitals to important cities in that state.|
|19||Express/Mails||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.|
|20||Fast Passenger and Passenger||These are slow trains that stop at most or every station along the route and are the cheapest trains. The trains generally have unreserved seating accommodation but some night trains have sleeper and 3-tier AC compartments. These trains travel at about 40–80 km/h (25–50 mph).|
|21||Suburban trains||These trains operate in the urban areas of Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Pune and between Kanpur and Lucknow, usually stop at every stations and have unreserved seating accommodation.|
|22||Metro||These trains are designed for city transport. Indian Railway constructed the first Kolkata Metro for the city of Kolkata. Now metro railway services are found in New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Jaipur and Gurgaon also.|
|23||Antyodaya and Jan Sadharan Express||These are fully non reserved trains. Antyodaya Express operates on peak routes. These trains are run to reduce the pressure on other trains on that route.|
|24||Mahamana Express||It is the new version of coaches of Indian Railways with modern benefits and facilities. The livery of the train is also different from other train. It is a tri-weekly superfast train service which runs between the city of Varanasi and New Delhi via Jaunpur, Sultanpur, Lucknow and Moradabad.|
|25||Tourist Trains||Indian Railways also operate luxurious tourist trains like Palace on Wheels, Maharaja Express, The Golden Chariot, Royal Rajasthan on Wheels etc. Fairy Queen has also gained tourist attraction because it is the oldest steam engine in operation hauling a luxurious train from Delhi to Alwar.|
|26||Heritage Trains||Darjeeling Himalayan Railway,Kalka-Shimla Railway and Nilgiri Mountain Railway: These are narrow gauge railways that run in hilly regions in India. These lines were combined declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO.|
- Palace on Wheels is a specially designed luxury tourist train service, frequently hauled by a steam locomotive, for promoting tourism in Rajasthan. The train has a 7 nights & 8 days itinerary, it departs from New Delhi (Day 1), and covers Jaipur (Day 2), Sawai Madhopur and Chittaurgarh (Day 3), Udaipur (Day 4), Jaisalmer (Day 5), Jodhpur (Day 6), Bharatpur and Agra (Day 7), return to Delhi (Day 8).
- Royal Rajasthan on Wheels a luxury tourist train service covers various tourist destinations in Rajasthan. The train takes tourists on a 7-day/8-night tour through Rajasthan. The train starts from New Delhi's Safdarjung railway station (Day 1), and has stops at Jodhpur (Day 2), Udaipur and Chittaurgarh (Day 3), Ranthambore National Park and Jaipur (Day 4), Khajuraho (Day 5), Varanasi and Sarnath (Day 6), Agra (Day 7) and back to Delhi (Day 8).
- Maharaja Express a luxury train operated by IRCTC runs on five circuits covering more than 12 destinations across North-West and Central India, mainly centered around Rajasthan between the months of October to April.
- Deccan Odyssey luxury tourist train service covers various tourist destinations in Maharashtra and Goa. The 7 Nights / 8 Days tour starts from Mumbai (Day 1) and covers Jaigad Fort, Ganapatipule and Ratnagiri (Day 2), Sindhudurg, Tarkarli and Sawantwadi (Day 3), Goa (Day 4), Kolhapur and Pune (Day 5), Aurangabad and Ellora Caves (Day 6), Ajanta Caves and Nashik (Day 7), and back to Mumbai (Day 8).
- The Golden Chariot luxury train runs on two circuits Pride of the South and Splendor of the South.
- Mahaparinirvan Express an a/c train service also known as Buddhist Circuit Train which is run by IRCTC to attract Buddhist pilgrims. The 7 nights/8 Days tour starts from New Delhi (Day 1) and covers Bodh Gaya (Day 2), Rajgir and Nalanda (Day 3), Varanasi and Sarnath (Day 4), Kushinagar and Lumbini (Day 5 and 6), Sravasti (Day 7), Taj Mahal (Agra) (Day 8) before returning to New Delhi on (Day 8).
- Samjhauta Express is a train that runs between India and Pakistan. However, hostilities between the two nations in 2001 saw the line being closed. It was reopened when the hostilities subsided in 2004. Another train connecting Khokhrapar (Pakistan) and Munabao (India) is the Thar Express that restarted operations on 18 February 2006; it was earlier closed down after the 1965 Indo-Pak war.
- Lifeline Express is a special train popularly known as the "Hospital-on-Wheels" which provides healthcare to the rural areas. This train has a carriage that serves as an operating room, a second one which serves as a storeroom and an additional two that serve as a patient ward. The train travels around the country, staying at a location for about two months before moving elsewhere.
- Fairy Queen is the oldest operating locomotive in the world today, though it is operated only for specials between Delhi and Alwar. John Bull, a locomotive older than Fairy Queen, operated in 1981 commemorating its 150th anniversary. Gorakhpur Junction railway station also has the distinction of being the world's longest railway platform at 4,483 ft (1,366 m). The Ghum station along the Darjeeling Toy Train route is the second highest railway station in the world to be reached by a steam locomotive. The Mumbai–Pune Deccan Queen has the oldest running dining car in IR.
- Vivek Express, between Dibrugarh and Kanyakumari, has the longest run in terms of distance and time on Indian Railways network. It covers 4,286 km (2,663 mi) in about 82 hours and 30 minutes.
- 12049/12050 Hazrat Nizamuddin - Agra Cantt. Gatimaan Express is the fastest train of India having a maximum speed of 160 km/h and average speed of 112 km/h. 12001/12002 Bhopal Shatabdi Express was the fastest train in India having a maximum speed of 150 km/h on the Faridabad–Agra section. The fastest speed attained by any train is 208 km/h (129 mph) in 2015 during test runs.
- Special Trains are those trains started by Indian Railways for any specific event or cause which includes Jagriti Yatra trains, Kumbh Mela Trains., emergency trains, etc.
- Double-decker AC trains have been introduced in India. The first double decker train was Pune-Mumbai Sinhagad express plying between Pune and Mumbai 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. On 16 April 2013, Indian Railways celebrated its 160 years of nationwide connectivity with a transportation of 23 million passengers in a day.
UNESCO world heritage sites
There are two UNESCO World Heritage Sites on Indian Railways. – The Chatrapati Shivaji Terminus and the Mountain Railways of India. The latter consists of three separate railway lines located in different parts of India:
- Nilgiri Mountain Railway, a 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 3⁄8 in) metre gauge railway in the Nilgiri Hills in Tamil Nadu.
- Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, a narrow gauge railway in Lesser Himalayas in West Bengal.
- Kalka-Shimla Railway, a narrow gauge railway in the Siwalik Hills in Himachal Pradesh. In 2003 the railway was featured in the Guinness Book of World Records for offering the steepest rise in altitude in the space of 96 kilometer.
Recruitment and Training
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 of Group 'B' for the following post Section Officers,Junior Engineers,Depot Material Superintendent posts is conducted by Railway Recruitment Board. The recruitment to Group 'C' and 'D' employees on the Indian Railways is done through 21 Railway Recruitment Boards and Railway Recruitment Cells which are controlled by the Railway Recruitment Control Board (RRCB). The training of all cadres is entrusted and shared between six centralised training institutes.
Indian Railways recruits for lower level positions like ASM, Goods Guard, Clerk, TA, CA, JE, Staff Nurse, Group D etc. through it RRB NTPC (Railway Recruitment Board Non-Technical ) Examination. For the year 2016, the examination was conducted to recruit around 18,000 positions.
Links to adjacent countries
Existing rail links:
- Bangladesh – Same gauge. The Maitree Express between Dhaka and Kolkata started in April 2008 using the Gede-Darsana route, in addition to a Freight Train service from Singhabad and Petrapole in India to Rohanpur and Benapole in Bangladesh. A second passenger link between Agartala, India and Akhaura Upazila, Bangladesh was approved by the Government of Bangladesh and India in September 2011.
- Nepal – Same gauge. Jayanagar - Janakpur line.
- Pakistan – Same gauge. Thar Express to Karachi and the more famous Samjhauta Express international train from Lahore, Pakistan to Amritsar (Attari).
Under construction / Proposed links:
- Bhutan – Railways Under Construction – Same gauge
- Myanmar – break-of-gauge – from Jiribham in Manipur to Kalemya in Myanmar.
- Thailand – possible if Burma Railway is rebuilt.
- Vietnam – On 9 April 2010, Former Union Minister of India, Shashi Tharoor announced that the central government is considering a rail link from Manipur to Vietnam via Myanmar.
- Wagon numbering system in India
- Train numbering in India
- Longest train services of Indian Railways
- Longest non-stop run in Indian Railways
- Rail transport in India
- High-speed rail in India
- Rapid transit in India
- List of railway stations in India
- List of named passenger trains of India
- List of countries by rail transport network size
- All India Station Masters' Association (AISMA)
- Tatkal Scheme
- Indian Railways Fan Club
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