Railway Zones in India – Indian Railways is owned and operated by the Government of India through the Ministry of Railways. Railways were first introduced to India in the year 1853 from Bombay to Thane. In 1951 the systems were nationalized as one unit, the Indian Railways, becoming one of the largest networks in the world.
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.
Konkan Railways is the latest addition to the Indian railways zones and it’s controlled by Railway Board and Railway Ministry.
Piyush Goyal is the current Railway Minister of India.
Railway Zones in India
|S No.||Railway Zone||Zone Headquarters||Railway Divisions|
|1||Northern Railway||Delhi||Delhi, Ambala, Firozpur, Lucknow NR, Moradabad|
|2||Northeast Frontier Railway||Guwahati||Alipurduar, Katihar, Rangiya, Lumding, Tinsukia|
|3||Eastern Railway||Kolkata||Howrah, Sealdah, Asansol, Malda|
|4||South Eastern Railway||Kolkata||Adra, Chakradharpur, Kharagpur, Ranchi|
|5||South Central Railway||Secunderabad||Secunderabad, Hyderabad Vijayawada, GuntakalGuntur, Nanded|
|6||Southern Railway||Chennai||Chennai, Tiruchirappalli, Madurai, Palakkad, Salem, Thiruvananthapuram|
|7||Central Railway||Mumbai||Mumbai, Bhusawal, Pune, Solapur, Nagpur|
|8||Western Railway||Mumbai||Mumbai WR, Ratlam, Ahmedabad, Rajkot, Bhavnagar, Vadodara|
|9||South Western Railway||Hubballi||Hubballi, Bengaluru, Mysuru,|
|10||North Western Railway||Jaipur||Jaipur, Ajmer,Bikaner, Jodhpur|
|11||West Central Railway||Jabalpur||Jabalpur, Bhopal Kota|
|12||North Central Railway||Allahabad||Allahabad, Agra, Jhansi|
|13||South East Central Railway||Bilaspur||Bilaspur, Raipur, Nagpur SEC|
|14||East Coast Railway||Bhubaneswar||Khurda Road, Sambalpur, Waltair|
|15||East Central Railway||Hajipur||Danapur, DhanbadMughalsarai, Samastipur, Sonpur|
|16||Konkan Railway||Navi Mumbai|
|17||Kolkata Metro Railway||Kolkata||Kolkata|
Interesting facts of Indian Railways:
- Northern Railways is one of nine old zones of Indian Railways and also the biggest in terms of network having 6807 kilometre route.
- The New Delhi-Bhopal Shatabdi Express is the fastest train in India. The train runs at an average speed of 91 kmph and touches a top speed of 150 kmph on the 195 km Delhi-Agra stretch. The Nilgiri Express with an average speed of 10 kmph has the distinction of being India’s slowest train.
- The Vivek Express — from Dibrugarh to Kanyakumari — travels 4,273 km, making it the longest-run in terms of total time & distance. Train services between Nagpur and Ajni, situated just 3km apart, form the shortest route.
- The Trivandrum-Nizamuddin Rajdhani Express that travels the 528km stretch between Vadodara and Kota non-stop comes at the top. The Howrah-Amritsar Express has the most number of halts at 115.
- Srirampur and Belapur are two different stations in Maharashtra’s Ahmednagar district, at the same location on the railway route but on opposite sides of the track.
- India’s oldest working locomotive is the Fairy Queen, manufactured in 1855. It is also the oldest functioning steam engine in the world.
- The world’s longest railway platform is in Gorakhpur. It measures 1.35km.
Latest Updates on Indian Railways:
- First fully India-made train (rake) Medha was flagged off at Dadar station in Mumbai, capital of Maharashtra by Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu via videoconferencing.
- Indian Railways has unveiled Antyodaya Express, a new train for the unreserved passengers. It was unveiled by Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu in New Delhi’s Safdarjang station.
- The Union Finance Ministry has agreed to contribute partially to a new dedicated railway safety fund named as ‘Rashtriya Rail Sanraksha Kosh’ in the upcoming Union Budget 2017-18.
- Indian Railways will soon introduce Tri-Netra (terrain imaging for diesel drivers infrared, enhanced optical and radar assisted) system on its trains to reduce train accidents.
Railways new catering policy 2017:
In this new Catering Policy food production and food distribution will be delinked. This will be a marriage between the best of both worlds. Food can be cooked anywhere like the state of the art kitchens of IRCTC in a hygienic manner using mechanized system. Food can be distributed using professionals from the hospitality industry. For making of food SHGs especially women SHGs can be used which will benefit them.
Key Point of New Catering Policy 2017:
- IRCTC shall manage catering service on all mobile units including catering services on all new trains/ trains started on short notice.
- Kitchen structures/ land/space will be handed over by zonal railways to IRCTC, for a period of 10 years extendable for another period of 5 years, on a token license fee of Re.1/- (Re. one) per sqft. p.a. subject to minimum of Rs.100/- p.a.
- All four base kitchens under departmental operation of zonal railways (Nagpur, CSTM, BCT and Balharshah) and all kitchen units i.e. refreshment rooms at A1 and A category stations, jan ahaar, cell kitchens shall be handed over to IRCTC on ‘as is where is basis’. Besides IRCTC may set up its own kitchens at additional stations if required.
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