Interesting Facts about Indian Railways

Indian Railways is a government of India owned company which provides railway transport in India. It is managed and governed by Ministry of Railways. It is one of the largest railway networks of world with a total route length of 67,312 Km with actual total track length of 1,15,000 Km. Till now there are 7172 number of Railway stations (Source – Rail Bandhu Magazine Nov 2016 edition). Indian Railways was founded in year 1853 during British era. The headquarters of Indian Railways is at New Delhi. This article provides amazing, unknown, interesting facts about Indian Railways.

Historical Facts about Indian Railways

Interesting Facts about Indian Railways

First Indian Train leaving Bori Bunder (now Mumbai CST)

  • The First Indian train ran between Bombay to Thana on 16.04.1853. 16th April, 1853 is thus considered as the founding date of Indian Railways. Indian Railways has completed proud 163 years.
  • This first train left Bori Bunder (now known as Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, Mumbai) at 1530 hrs for Thane which is 34 Km ahead. This train constituted of 14 carriages and carried 400 guest passengers who were invited specially to witness the occasion.
  • The railway network which came to existence upon successful completion of this run was called as Great Indian Peninsula Railways.
  • Earlier Railways were privately owned different companies which were mostly British. In 1951 all the privately owned different companies were nationalised as one unit.
  • Punjab mail is India’s oldest running train which is still in service. This train travels between Firozpur Cantt to Mumbai CST via Delhi, Agra, Jhansi, Gwalior and Bhopal. This train made its maiden journey on 1st June 1912 from Ballard Pier Mole station (Mumbai) to Peshawar covering 2496 Km. After partition its route was restricted to Firozpur. This train is also called as Cancer lifeline as it carries cancer patients upto Mumbai free of cost.

Interesting Facts about Indian Railways

  • Indian Railways is India’s largest and World’s seventh largest employer of the world. The total number of employees working in Indian Railway as per the figures released in march 2013 were 13.76 lakhs.
  • Indian Railway consists of 2,45,267 Fright wagons, 66,392 passenger coaches and 10,499 locomotives. Out of 10,499 operational locomotives there are – 43 steam locomotives, 5633 diesel locomotives and 4823 electric locomotives.
  • On an average total 12617 passenger trains and 7421 freight trains are running on daily basis.
  • Out of total route of 67,312 Km 27,999 Km route is electrified while the remaining  39313 still uses diesel based locomotives. Route length of Steam based loco is negligibly small.
  • Steam Locomotives are not used anywhere except heritage trains. As of now there is only one train The Fairy Queen (Delhi-Rewari-Alwar-Rewari-Delhi) which still uses steam engine.
  • The yearly revenue of Indian Railway (year 2015-16) till month Dec was Rs 1,11,834.32 Crores. The revenue of year 2014-15 was around 1,57,880.5 Crores. This staggering high figure is more than total yearly GDP of half of countries of world.
  • There are total 17 zones in Indian Railways. Each zones are in turn divided into divisions. In terms of route length Northern Railway zone is longest with a route length of 6968 Km. South east central railway has shortest route length of 358 Km.
  • There are very few countries in the world which uses Multi Gauge system. Indian Railways along with Britain, Australia and Canada uses multi-gauge system. Multi Gauge system is made of Broad gauge, standard gauge and narrow gauge all inbuilt in common set of rails.
  • Indian Railways uses four type of gauge system. i) Broad gauge (1.676 m), ii) Standard gauge (1.435 m), iii) Meter gauge (1.0 m) and iv) narrow gauge (762 mm). Broad gauge is the most used gauge system in India and comprises of 1,08,500 Km of total track length. This accounts nearly 94 % of total track length.
  • Out of total track, meter gauge length is about 5000 Km long which is about 4 % of entire track length.
  • Narrow gauge length is restricted to mere 1500 Km. There are three railway routes which are still using narrow gauge, these are – i) Nilgiri Mountain Railways, ii) Kalka Shimla (Toy train) railways and iii) Matheran Railways. All these railway lines are declared as National heritage and will never be converted to Broad or Standard gauge system.

Facts about Indian Railways : Fastest Train in India

Facts about Indian Railways

Gatiman Express : India’s Fastest Train

  • Gatiman Express is currently the highest speed train in India. It runs at top speed of 160 Km/hr (average speed 112 Km/hr). It covers a distance of 402 Km between Hazrat Nizamuddin and Jhansi in 4 hrs 25 minutes.
  • New Delhi – Bhopal Shatabdi Express is the second highest speed train in India. The top speed of this train is 150 Km/hr.
  • Rajdhani Express trains which connect major cities to New Delhi are the third highest speed trains in India. These trains travel at top speed of 130-140 Km/hr.

Facts about Indian Railways : Longest Route Trains

  • Vivek express train is currently the longest route train in India. It travels a distance of 4234 Km between stations Dibrugarh (Assam) and Kanyakumari (Tamil Nadu). This train takes 80 hours and 15 minutes to cover the entire route. There are total 58 schedule stops (railway stations) on this route. Vivek express train was started to commemorate the 150th birth anniversary of Swami Vivekanand.
  • Himsagar express is the second longest route train in India. This train runs from Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Katra (Jammu and Kashmir) to Kanyakumari (Tamil Nadu). This train covers a distance of 3787 Km at an average speed of 52 Km/hr.

Facts about Indian Railways : Longest Railway Platform

  • Gorakhpur Railway station has the longest railway platform not only in India but whole world. The length of Gorakhpur Railway station platform is 1366.3 meter.
  • Kollam junction (Kerala) is the second longest railway platform in India. Kollam Junction is also the world’s second longest railway platform. The length of this platform is 1180.5 m.
  • Kharagpur railway station of West Bengal is presently the third longest railway platform of India and world. The length of this platform is 1072.5 m. Incidentally top 3 longest railway platforms of world belongs to India.

Facts about Indian Railways : Highest Railway Stations

  • Ghum of West Bengal is the highest Railway Station of India. The small town of Ghum falls on Darjeeling Himalayan Railway network. The height of this railway station is 2258 m.
  • Ooty is the second highest Railway Station of India. Ooty is located on Nilgiri Mountain Railways. Altitude of Ooty railway station is 2210 m.

International Trains of India

There are three train international train routes from India to neighbouring countries. Of of three, two trains i.e. Samjhauta Express (Delhi to Lahore) and Thar Express (Jodhpur to Karachi) travels to Pakistan while Maitree Express (Kolkata to Dhaka) travels to Bangladesh.