Chapter on Transport


  • From a very modest beginning in 1853, when the first train steamed off from Mumbai to Thane, a distance of 34 km, the Railways have grown into a vast network of:
  • 7,030 stations
  • route length of 64,015 km
  • 8,592 locomotives,
  • 49,110 passenger service vehicles,
  • 5,985 other coaching vehicles
  • 2,11,763 wagons.
  • About 29% of the route kilometre, 41% of running track kilometre and 42% of total track kilometre is electrified.
  • The network is divided into 16 zones. Divisions are the basic operating units. The 16 zones and their respective headquarters are:
Central Mumbai CST
Eastern Kolkata
East Coast Bhubhaneshwar
East Central Hajipur
Northern New Delhi
North Central Allahabad
North Eastern Gorakhpur
Northeast Frontier Maligaon (Guwahati)
North Western Jaipur
Southern Chennai
South Central Secunderabad
South Eastern Kolkata
South East Central Railway Bilaspur
South Western Railway Hubli
Western Mumbai
West Central Railway Jabalpur


  • The rolling stock fleet of Indian Railways in service as on 31st March, 2009 comprised 43 steam, 4,963 diesel and 3,586 electric locomotives.
  • There are 11 public undertakings under the administrative control of the Ministry of Railways, viz:
  1. Rail India Technical and Economic Services Limited (RITES)
  2. Indian Railway Construction (IRCON) International Limited
  3. Indian Railway Finance Corporation Limited (IRFC)
  4. Container Corporation of India Limited (CONCOR)
  5. Konkan Railway Corporation Limited (KRCL)
  6. Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation Ltd, (IRCTC)
  7. Railtel Corporation of India Ltd. (Rail Tel)
  8. Mumbai Rail Vikas Nigam Ltd. (MRVNL)
  9. Railway Vikas Nigam Ltd. (RVNL)
  10. Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India Limited (DFCCIL)
  11. Bharat Wagon and Engineering Co. Ltd. (BWEL)
  • The Research, Design and Standards Organization (RDSO) at Lucknow is the R&D wing of Indian Railways.
  • Since 1924-25, railway finances remain separated from general revenues. They have their own funds and accounts and the Railway Budget is presented separately to Parliament.

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