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Western Railway zone

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Western Railway
Western Railway System Map-9
HeadquartersChurchgate, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
Reporting markWR
LocaleMaharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh
Dates of operation5 November 1951 (1951-11-05)–present
Track gaugebroad gauge, metre gauge & narrow gauge
WebsiteWR official website
Western Railway HQ, Mumbai

The Western Railway (abbreviated WR) is one of the 19 zones of Indian Railways and is among the busiest railway networks in India, headquartered at Mumbai, Maharashtra. The major railway routes of Indian Railways which come under Western Railways are: Mumbai CentralRatlam, Mumbai Central–Ahmedabad and Palanpur–Ahmedabad. The railway system is divided into six operating divisions: Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Rajkot, Bhavnagar, Ratlam, and Mumbai WR. Vadodara railway station, being the junction point for the Ahmedabad–Mumbai route and the Mumbai–Ratlam route towards New Delhi, is the busiest junction station in Western Railways and one of the busiest junctions of Indian Railways too, while Ahmedabad Division earns highest revenue followed by Mumbai Division and Vadodara Division. Surat railway station is one of the busiest railway station in Western Railway in non-junction category where more than 180 trains pass per day.[1][2]

Western Railway General Manager's official bungalow 'Bombarci' (abbreviation of Bombay, Baroda and Central India) is located on Altamont road in Cumbala hill, Mumbai.[3]


The Western Railway was created on 5 November 1951 by merging several state-owned railways, including the Bombay, Baroda and Central India Railway (BB&CI), and the Saurashtra Railway, Rajputana Railway and Jaipur State Railway. The narrow-gauge lines of Cutch State Railway was also merged into it in 1951.

The BB&CI Railway was itself inaugurated in 1855, starting with the construction of a 29-mile (47-km) broad-gauge track from Ankleshwar to Utran in Gujarat state on the west coast. In 1864, the railway was extended to Mumbai and the first train was flagged off from Grant Road Station in Mumbai to Ahmedabad on 28th November, 1864. Subsequently, the project was further extended beyond Vadodara in a north easterly direction towards Godhra, Ratlam, Nagda and thereafter northwards towards Kota and Mathura, to eventually link with the Great Indian Peninsular Railway, now the Central Railway, which had already started operating in Mumbai in 1853. In 1860 Surat railway station was built. In 1883, a metre-gauge railway system, initially linking Delhi with Agra, Jaipur and Ajmer, was established.

The first suburban service in Mumbai with steam traction was introduced in April 1867. It was extended to Churchgate in 1870. By 1900 45 trains in each direction were carrying over one million passengers annually.

The railways of several princely states were also integrated into the Western Railway. The Gaekwars of Baroda built the Gaekwar's Baroda State Railway (GBSR), which was merged into the BB&CI in 1949. Several railways of western Gujarat, including the Bhavnagar, Kathiawar, Jamnagar & Dwarka, Gondal, and Morvi railways were merged into the Saurashtra Railway in 1948. The Jodhpur–Bikaner Railway was taken over by Rajasthan state in 1949, after the western portion was ceded to the government of Pakistan.[4]

In 2002, the Jaipur and Ajmer divisions of the Western Railway became part of the newly created North Western Railway, and in April 2003 the Kota division of the Western Railway became part of the newly created West Central Railway.


Newly built Andheri Station East Side

Western Railway headquarters is in Mumbai's Churchgate station and serves the entire state of Gujarat, some portions of Western Madhya Pradesh, and coastal Maharashtra and some parts of Rajasthan. The Western coast of India served by Western Railway has a number of ports, most important among them being Kandla, Hajira, Surat, Dahej, Mundra, Okha, Veraval, Porbandar, Bhavnagar in Gujarat state and Mumbai in Maharashtra.

Navapur railway station is unique as it falls in both the states of Gujarat and Maharashtra because both were as a one state of Bombay State before 1960 and after States Reorganization Act the Navapur station was divided equally among Gujarat and Maharashtra.[5] So is the Surat railway station unique. It is Asia's one of the first railway station where the platforms is on the first floor, that is above the ground level. The ticket counter is on the ground floor.[6]

The Western Railway operates electric multiple units (EMUs) on the Western line of the Mumbai Suburban Railway, which forms part of the Ahmedabad–Mumbai main line. The EMUs ply between Churchgate and Virar (60 km) and was extended until Dahanu Road and Services actually started on 16 April 2013. EMUs are of 12-car or 15-car rakes and are differentiated as slow and fast locals. Slow trains halt at all stations, while fast ones halt at important stations only and are preferable over longer distances. The first electric train on this section was introduced in 1928 between Churchgate and Andheri. AC EMUs were introduced on Mumbai Suburban section of Western Railway on 25th December, 2017.

Today, Western Railway runs 1394 suburban services including 96 AC services. the AC services are getting more and more popular. The suburban services are the lifeline of the city with working class commuting daily to work covering more than 60km distance every day. For making commuting more comfortable, Western Railway is upgrading its suburban system.

Western Railway's Mumbai Suburban Section[edit]

Western Railway's Mumbai Suburban section extends from Churchgate to Dahanu Road(123km). Western Railway operates 1394 EMU services on this section with 96 being AC services. The suburban section is the lifeline of city, with commuters travelling more than 60 km distances to reach their workplace.To make commuting more comfortable, Western Railway has done several upgradations in recent past. Many Foot Over Bridges have been constructed, Esclators and Lifts have been installed, elevated decks have been made at Andheri, Borivali and Goregaon stations and work is in progress at Khar Road, Mira Road and other stations.

Developments on Western Railway[edit]

Many developments have taken place on Western railway in recent past. The unstaffed level crossings have been eliminated. The staffed level crossings are also being closed by constructing Road Over Bridges and Road Under Bridges. Electrification is being carried out in mission mode to convert whole of Western Railway to electric traction.

Gauge Conversion, Doubling and New Line work in recent years:

  • Ahmedabad-Himatnagar-Udaipur Gauge Conversion
  • Ahmedabad-Botad GC
  • Dhasa-Jetalsar GC
  • Dabhoi-Samlaya GC
  • Dr. Ambedkar Nagar-Patalpani section GC
  • Junagadh-Visavdar GC
  • Samni-Jambusa GC
  • Ratlam-Fatehabad Chandravatiganj-Indore GC
  • Rajkot-Surendranagar doubling
  • Udhana-Jalgaon doubling
  • Viramgam - Surendranagar doubling
  • Viramgam - Samakhiali doubling
  • Palanpur - Samakhiali doubling
  • Patan - Bhildi New Line
  • Chandod-Ektanagar New Line
  • Bhimnath-Dholera New Line

Vande Bharat trains[edit]

The new upgraded Vande Bharat version 2.0 was first introduced on 30/09/2022 between Gandhinagar and Mumbai Central. The train set boasts of several passenger friendly features. Today, Western Railway runs four Vande Bharat trains viz:

  1. Gandhinagar - Mumbai Central
  2. Indore- Nagpur
  3. Okha - Dwarka - Ahmedabad
  4. Sabarmati - Jodhpur
  5. Ahmedabad - Mumbai Central

Western Railway Connects Statue of Unity[edit]

On 17 January 2021, the Statue of Unity came on the railways map. Western Railway connected the Statue of Unity with the Broad Gauge electrified line with Mumbai- Delhi main line at Vadodara. The project included gauge conversion of Dabhoi-Chandod section, new line from Chandod to Kevadiya(Statue of Unity) and electrification of Pratapnagar(Vadodara) to Kevadiya. The project was completed in a record time in close coordination with state government by Western Railway. It was inaugurated by Shri Narendra Modi, Prime Minister through video conferencing from New Delhi. 8 inaugural trains were flagged off from various parts of the country on same day. Vistadome coach has been introduced in Ahmedabad-Kevadiya Janshatabdi express.

125 years of Western Railway Head Quarters Building[edit]

Western Railway Head Quarters Building constructed in the year 1899 will be completing 125 years in January 2024. The Head Quarters building was designed by renowned architect, Frederick William Stevens. Stevens successfully blended the Venetian Gothic and Indian Sarcenic styles, creating in the process a style excellently adapted to the climate and environment of Bombay and the superb vantage site on which the building was constructed. Initially, Rs 4,75,000 were sanctioned for the building plus Rs 50,000 for the architect’s design fees. The final estimate including a supplementary estimate of Rs 83,426 sanctioned was Rs 7,52,556. F W Stevens appointed Raosaheb Sitaram Khanderao Vaidya as the resident engineer. He had worked with Stevens in same capacity on Municipal Building and other projects. He also appointed Ranganath Krishna Deshmukh as assistant to Resident Engineer Khanderao. F W Stevens was also assisted by his son, Charles Fedrick Stevens, who worked as Chief Assistant with him. Charles Fedrick Stevens is known for Art Deco style designs for buildings in Bombay including the famous Regal Cinema building.

The completed building with a 276 foot we276-footstern façade supporting a central tower of 160 feet was an imposing sight facing the sea situated at the intersection of Churchgate Street (Veer Nariman Road) and Queen’s road (Maharashi Karve road). As detailed by Stevens, the outline and massing were the most prominent and defining character of the building which was otherwise plain because it lacked ornament. The unique central tower was square from the base up to 100 feet, then became an octagon diminishing into a smaller octagon culminating in a circular dome. This dome was noticeable from all parts of Esplanade and formed a new landmark for ships entering Bombay. Two porches on the western and southern façades provided additional character to the building. A sculpture of ‘Engineering’ made in Bath stone was placed atop the central gable. The sculpture consisted of a lady accompanied by two children on either side, with her holding a locomotive in her right hand while supporting herself on a wheel to her left. Seven other carved figures in Porebunder stone of griffins holding BB&CI monogrammed shield were placed on smaller gables. Statues of Colonel French and Colonel Kennedy were placed between the arches of carriage porch on west. The flawless Porebunder stone was brought from a four mile long quarry in the Kathiawar region in today’s Gujarat. The bases of columns and piers were of finely dressed Coorla(Kurla) stone and Kalyan brock and lime masonry for jams, piers and coigns. Chamfered and moulded arches were made of finely dressed Porebunder and Dhrangdhara red stone. Blue basalt stone was used for long steps of overhanging staircase provided with ornamental railing of wrought iron topped with French polished teak handrail. The domes, mouldings, capitals, columns, cornices and carved enrichments in Porebunder stone, white Coorla (Kurla) and Dhrangdhara red stone were in synergy with neighboring buildings.

Western Railway has planned a series of activities to mark completion of 125 years which include the restoration of this heritage building, Exhibitions, conduction heritage tours etc.

Heritage Gallery, Mumbai[edit]

Conserving heritage, Western Railway has opened Heritage Gallery at its headquarters building at Churchgate, Mumbai. The Gallery has recently been renovated. It is a collection of various models of BB&CI era, the precursor of Western Railway. Many notes of agents of BB&CI dating back to 1860s have also been displayed. Suburban timetable of 1948, steam engine model, signalling equipment, Model of 1928 EMUs, working model of Auxiliary Warning System, etc. have been beautifully displayed.

The gallery gives an insight about the development of lines on Western Region of India. The BB&CI map dating back to 1930s shows us that the Western line started from Mumbai via Vadodara, Ratlam connected GIP Railway at Mathura to reach Delhi and further Peshawar. The Frontier Mail (Golden Temple Mail) used to run up to Peshawar. The Gallery is open for public free of cost during working hours and on special occasions.[7]



Some of the major trains operated by Western Railway zone are as follows:

Number Train Name Starting Station Terminating Station
12951/12952 Mumbai Rajdhani Express Mumbai Central New Delhi
12953/12954 August Kranti Rajdhani Express Mumbai Central Hazrat Nizamuddin
12907/12908 Maharashtra Sampark Kranti Express Bandra Terminus Hazrat Nizamuddin
12925/12926 Paschim Express Mumbai Central Amritsar Jn
12909/12910 Bandra Terminus–Hazrat Nizamuddin Garib Rath Express Bandra Terminus Hazrat Nizamuddin
12247/12248 Bandra Terminus–Hazrat Nizamuddin Yuva Express Bandra Terminus Hazrat Nizamuddin
12901/12902 Gujarat Mail Dadar Western Ahmedabad Jn
22209/22210 Mumbai Central–New Delhi Duronto Express Mumbai Central New Delhi
12903/12904 Golden Temple Mail Mumbai Central Amritsar Jn.
12267/12268 Mumbai Central–Hapa Duronto Express Mumbai Central Hapa
12239/12240 Mumbai Central–Hisar Duronto Express Mumbai Central Hisar
12961/12962 Avantika Express Mumbai Central Indore Jn.
12921/12922 Flying Ranee Mumbai Central Surat
12933/12934 Karnavati Express Mumbai Central Ahmedabad Jn.
12009/12010 Mumbai Central–Ahmedabad Shatabdi Express Mumbai Central Ahmedabad Jn.
20901/20902 Mumbai Central - Gandhinagar Capital Vande Bharat Express Mumbai Central Gandhinagar Capital

Major routes[edit]

Major stations[edit]

Loco sheds[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "About Western Railway". Total Train Info.
  2. ^ "Railway Zones and Divisions". Press Information Bureau, Government of India.
  4. ^ "History of Western Railway". Western Railway.
  5. ^ "इस रेलवे स्टेशन पर टिकट कटता है महाराष्ट्र में तो ट्रेन रुकती है गुजरात में". Bhaskar.
  6. ^ "Surat Railway: Western Railway zone". Irctc News. 14 March 2019.
  7. ^ "Churchgate Heritage Gallery". Museums of India.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]