All about Indian Railways - Important Facts and Figures

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All about Indian Railways - Important Facts and Figures
Transportation is the major part of Indian economy. Indian Railways started its service 164 years ago on 16 April 1853. The first train was run over a stretch of 33 kilometers from Mumbai to Thane. The Indian transportation system is very important in UPSC IAS Exam also. Here we are giving some interesting facts about Indian Railways.
  • The Fairy Queen is the oldest functioning steam engine in the world. It is plying between New Delhi and Alwar in Rajasthan.
  • Four sites of Indian Railways have been declared as “World Heritage sites” by the UNESCO. They are Darjeeling-Himalayan Railway, Nilgiri Mountain, Mumbai CST, and Kalka-Shimla Railways.
  • Indian Railways was nationalized in 1951
  • Toilets were introduced on Indian Railways in 1909.
  • Indian Railways started computerized reservation in New Delhi in 1986. 
  • Indian Railways is the world’s second largest network operated under a single administration and the largest rail network in Asia.
  • The railway runs more than 7,421 cargo trains carrying 3 million tons of freight daily.
  • Indian Railway has gone into a select club of railways that includes China, Russia, and the USA in carrying more than one billion tons of cargo yearly. 
  • According to the Acworth Committee in 1920-21, the railway finances of India were separated from the general government finances in 1924.
  • In 1994, the first live telecast of railway budget took place.
  • Recently Railway and General Budget has merged.
  • India’s fastest train has successfully completed a trial run at 160 km per hour on the route between Delhi and Agra in just 90 minutes.
  • In 2000, Mamata Banerjee was the first woman to become Railway Minister.
  • She holds the record of being the only woman who introduced the railway budget for two different governments in the Parliament (UPA and NDA).
  • The Gatimaan Express (New Delhi- Agra) is currently the fastest train.
  • The Mettupalayam-Ooty Nilgiri Passenger train is the slowest train which runs at an average speed of 10 kmph.
  • The New Delhi Railway Station has the world’s largest Route Relay Interlocking System.
  • Indian Railways is the world’s seventh largest employer with over 1.4 million employees on its rolls.
  • The renewed platform at Gorakhpur Railway Station in Uttar Pradesh has become the world’s longest, measuring 1,366 meters.
  • Indian Railways is building the world’s highest railway bridge five times the height of Qutub Minar and 35 meters taller than Eiffel Tower.
  • Station with the shortest name is Ib in Odisha.
  • Venkatanarasimharajuvariipeta is the station with the longest name.
  • The longest platform in the world now is in Gorakhpur (4482 ft) overtaking Kharagpur (2733 ft).
  • The longest rail journey is between Dibrugarh and Kanniya Kumari (4286 km) performed by Vivek Express, introduced in 2011. Prior to this, Himsagar Express covered the longest distance from Jammu Tawi to Kanniya Kumari (3751 km).
  • The longest rail journey by Rajdhani Express is between Hazrat Nizamuddin and Thiruvananthapuram covering 3149 km.
  • Vembanad Railway Bridge connecting Edappally and Vallarpadam with a length of 4.62 km is the longest rly bridge in India.
  • The longest railway tunnel, the Pir Panjal Railway Tunnel (between Qazigund and Banihal) has a length of 10.96 km. The work on the tunnel was completed in October 2011. Prior to this the longest railway tunnel was the Karbude Tunnel of length 6.5 km in Maharashtra and a part of the Konkan railways.

Railway Manufacturing Units
  • Chittaranjan Locomotive Works (CLW) – It is situated in Chittaranjan (W.B). It manufactures electric engines.
  • Diesel Locomotive Works (DLW) – It is Situated at Varanasi and Manufactures Diesel Engines.
  • Integral Coach Factory – Situated at Perambur (Chennai) and manufactures Rail Coaches.
  • Wheel and Axel Plant – Situated at Yalahka (Bangalore) and manufactures wheel and axels.
  • Diesel Component Works – Situated at Patiala(Punjab) and manufactures components of diesel engines.
  • Rail Coach Factory – Situated at Kapurthala (Punjab) and manufactures Railway Coaches.
  • Konkan Rail Project (Konkan Railway) – This is the joint venture of the government of Maharashtra, Goa and Karnataka and Kerala. Under this Project a Railway Lines joining Mumbai and Mangalore(Karnataka) has been laid down.

Railway Zones
For better administrative control of Indian Railway, The whole railway network of the country has been divided into 17 Railway Zones and 70 Divisions.  The Divisional Headquarter is controlled by Divisional Railway Manager(DRM).
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