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Indian Railways
Type Departmental Undertaking of The Ministry of Railways, Government of India
Founded 26 April 1853
Headquarters New Delhi, India
Area served India
Key people Mamata Banerjee (Union Railway Minister)
E. Ahamed & K.H. Muniyappa (Ministers of State for Railways)
S.S. Khurana (Chairman, Railway Board)[1]
Industry Railways & Locomotives
Services Rail transport
Revenue Rs. 931.59 billion
(US$ 19.13 billion) (2009)[2]
Employees 1,600,000 (2009)[3]
Parent Ministry of Railways, Government of India
Divisions 16 Railway Zones (excluding Konkan Railway)
Website Indianrailways.gov.in

Indian Railways (Hindi: भारतीय रेल Bhāratīya Rail), abbreviated as IR (Hindi: भारे), is the state-owned railway company of India, which owns and operates most of the country's rail transport. It is overseen by the Ministry of Railways of the Government of India.

Indian Railways has one of the largest and busiest rail networks in the world, transporting 20 million passengers and more than 2 million tonnes of freight daily.[4][5] It is one of the world's largest commercial or utility employers, with more than 1.6 million employees.[4][6] The railways traverse the length and breadth of the country, covering 6,909 stations over a total route length of more than 63,327 kilometres (39,350 mi). As to rolling stock, IR owns over 200,000 (freight) wagons, 50,000 coaches and 8,000 locomotives.[4]

Railways were first introduced to India in 1853. By 1947, the year of India's independence, there were forty-two rail systems. In 1951 the systems were nationalised as one unit, becoming one of the largest networks in the world. IR operates both long distance and suburban rail systems on a multi-gauge network of broad, metre and narrow gauges. It also owns locomotive and coach production facilities.

Contents

Organisational structure

Indian Railways is a department owned and controlled by the Government of India, via the Ministry of Railways. As of March 2010, the Railway Ministry is headed by Mamata Banerjee, the Union Minister for Railways and assisted by two ministers of State for Railways. Indian Railways is administered by the Railway Board, which has a financial commissioner, five members and a chairman.[7]

Railway zones

A schematic map of the Indian Railways network, showing the various zones.
The headquarters of the Indian Railways in New Delhi

Indian Railways is divided into zones, which are further sub-divided into divisions. The number of zones in Indian Railways increased from six to eight in 1951, nine in 1952, and finally 16 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-seven divisions.[8][9]

The Kolkata Metro is owned and operated by Indian Railways, but is not a part of any of the zones. It is administratively considered to have the status of a zonal railway.[10]

Each of the sixteen zones, as well as the Kolkata Metro, is headed by a General Manager (GM) who reports directly to the Railway Board. The zones are further divided into divisions under the control of Divisional Railway Managers (DRM). The divisional officers of engineering, mechanical, electrical, signal and telecommunication, accounts, personnel, operating, commercial and safety branches report to the respective Divisional Manager and are in charge of operation and maintenance of assets. Further down the hierarchy tree are the Station Masters who control individual stations and the train movement through the track territory under their stations' administration.

Sl. No Name Abbr. Date Established Headquarters Divisions
1. Central CR 1951, November 5 Mumbai Mumbai, Bhusawal, Pune, Solapur, Nagpur
2. East Central ECR 2002, October 1 Hajipur Danapur, Dhanbad, Mughalsarai, Samastipur, Sonpur
3. East Coast ECoR 2003, April 1 Bhubaneswar Khurda Road, Sambalpur, Visakhapatnam
4. Eastern ER 1952, April Kolkata Howrah, Sealdah, Asansol, Malda
5. Konkan KR 1998, November 26 Navi Mumbai Ratnagiri, Madgaon, Karwar, Mangalore
6. North Central NCR 2003, April 1 Allahabad Allahabad, Agra, Jhansi
7. North Eastern NER 1952 Gorakhpur Izzatnagar, Lucknow, Varanasi
8. North Western NWR 2002, October 1 Jaipur Jaipur, Ajmer, Bikaner, Jodhpur
9. Northeast Frontier NFR 1958 Guwahati Alipurduar, Katihar, Lumding, Rangia, Tinsukia
10. Northern NR 1952, April 14 Delhi Delhi, Ambala, Firozpur, Lucknow, Moradabad
11. South Central SCR 1966, October 2 Secunderabad Secunderabad, Hyderabad, Guntakal, Guntur, Nanded, Vijayawada
12. South East Central SECR 2003, April 1 Bilaspur Bilaspur, Raipur, Nagpur
13. South Eastern SER 1955 Kolkata Adra, Chakradharpur, Kharagpur, Ranchi
14. South Western SWR 2003, April 1 Hubli Hubli, Bangalore, Mysore
15. Southern SR 1951, April 14 Chennai Chennai, Madurai, Palakkad, Salem, Tiruchchirapalli, Thiruvanathapuram
16. West Central WCR 2003, April 1 Jabalpur Jabalpur, Bhopal, Kota
17. Western WR 1951, November 5 Mumbai Mumbai Central, Vadodara, Ratlam, Ahmedabad, Rajkot, Bhavnagar

Recruitment and training

With approximately 1.6 million employees, Indian Railways is the country's single largest employer.[11] Staff are classified into gazetted (Group A and B) and non-gazetted (Group C and D) employees.[12] The recruitment of Group A gazetted employees is carried out by the Union Public Service Commission through exams conducted by it.[13] The recruitment to Group 'C' and 'D' employees on the Indian Railways is done through 19 Railway Recruitment Boards which are controlled by the Railway Recruitment Control Board (RRCB).[14] The training of all cadres is entrusted and shared between six centralised training institutes.

Subsidiaries

A WAP5 locomotive
A diesel locomotive of Indian Railways powering Express train, that runs in Assam

Indian Railways manufactures much of its rolling stock and heavy engineering components at its six manufacturing plants, called Production Units, which are managed directly by the ministry. As with most developing economies, the main reason for this was the policy of import substitution of expensive technology related products when the general state of the national engineering industry was immature. Each of these six production units is headed by a General Manager, who also reports directly to the Railway Board.

There exist independent organisations under the control of the Railway Board for electrification, modernisation and research and design, each of which is headed by a General Manager. A number of Public Sector Undertakings, which perform railway-related functions ranging from consultancy to ticketing, are also under the administrative control of the Ministry of railways.

Technical details

Track

Indian railways uses four gauges, the 1,676mm broad gauge which is wider than the 1,435mm standard gauge; the 1,000mm metre gauge; and two narrow gauge 762 mm (2 ft 6 in) and 610 mm (2 ft) . Track sections are rated for speeds ranging from 75 to 160 km/h.

The total length of track used by Indian Railways was about 111,600 km (69,300 mi) while the total route length of the network was 63,273 km (39,316 mi) on 31 March 2008.[15] About 28% of the route-kilometre and 42% of the total track kilometre was electrified on 31 March 2008.[15]

Broad gauge is the predominant gauge used by Indian Railways.

Broad gauge is the predominant gauge used by Indian Railways. Indian broad gauge1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in)—is the most widely used gauge in India with 96,851 km of track length (86.8% of entire track length of all the gauges) and 51,082 km of route-kilometre (80.7% of entire route-kilometre of all the gauges) on 31 March 2008.

In some regions with less traffic, the metre gauge (1,000mm) is common, although the Unigauge project is in progress to convert all tracks to broad gauge. The metre gauge had 11,676 km of track length (10.5% of entire track length of all the gauges) and 9,442 km of route-kilometre (14.9% of entire route-kilometre of all the gauges) on 31 March 2008.

The Narrow gauges are present on a few routes, lying in hilly terrains and in some erstwhile private railways (on cost considerations), which are usually difficult to convert to broad gauge. Narrow gauges had a total of 2,749 route-kilometre on 31 March 2008. The Kalka-Shimla Railway, the Nilgiri Mountain Railway and the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway are three notable hill lines that use narrow gauge.[16]

The share of broad gauge in the total route-kilometre has been steadily rising, increasing from 47% (25,258 route-km) in 1951 to more than 83% in 2010 whereas the share of metre gauge has declined from 45% (24,185 route-km) to less than 13% in the same period and the share of narrow gauges has decreased from 8% to 3%. However, the total route-kilometre has increased by only 18% (by just 10,000 km from 53,596 route-km in 1951) in the last 60 years. This compares very poorly with Chinese railways, which increased from about 27,000 route-km at the end of second world war to about 90,000 route-km in 2010, an increase of more than three-fold. More than 28,000 route-km (34% of the total route-km) of Chinese railway is electrified compared to only about 18,000 route-km of Indian railways. This is an indication of the poor state of Indian railways where the funds allocated to new railway lines are meagre, construction of new uneconomic railway lines are taken up due to political interference without ensuring availability of funds and the projects incur huge cost and time overruns due to poor project-management and paucity of funds.

Sleepers (ties) used are made of prestressed concrete, or steel or cast iron posts, though teak sleepers are still in use on few older lines. The prestressed concrete sleeper is in wide use today. Metal sleepers were extensively used before the advent of concrete sleepers. Indian Railways divides the country into four zones on the basis of the range of track temperature. The greatest temperature variations occur in Rajasthan, where the difference may exceed 70°C.

Traction

As of March 2008, 18,274 km of the total 63,273 km route length is electrified.[17] Since 1960, almost all electrified sections on IR use 25,000 V AC traction through overhead catenary delivery.[18][19] A major exception is the entire Mumbai section, which uses 1,500 V DC.[19] and is currently undergoing change to the 25,000 V AC system. Another exception is the Kolkata Metro, which uses 750 V DC delivered through a third rail.

Traction voltages are changed at two places close to Mumbai. Central Railway trains passing through Igatpuri switch from AC to DC using a neutral section that may be switched to either voltage while the locomotives are decoupled and swapped. Western Railway trains switch power on the fly, in a section between Virar (DC) and Vaitarna (AC), where the train continues with its own momentum for about 30 m through an unelectrified section of catenary called a dead zone.[19] All electric engines and EMUs operating in this section are the necessary AC/DC dual system type (classified "WCAM" by Indian Railways).

Services

Passenger

A DMU Train

Indian Railways operates about 9,000 passenger trains and transports 20 million passengers daily across twenty-eight states and two union territories. Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, and Meghalaya are the only states not connected by rail. A standard passenger train consists of eighteen coaches, but popular trains can have up to 24 coaches.

24 Coached Malwa Express

Coaches are designed to accommodate anywhere from 18 to 108 passengers, but during the holiday seasons and/or on busy routes, more passengers may travel in unreserved coaches. Most regular trains have coaches connected through vestibules. However, 'unreserved coaches' are not connected with the rest of the train via any vestibule.

An un-vestibulated coach of the Indian train

Reservation against cancellation service is a provision for shared berth in case the travel ticket is not confirmed.[20]

Accommodation classes

An 'Open' type [3+3] Chair Car

Several long trains are composed of two to three classes of travel, such as a 1st and 2nd classes which have different pricing systems for various amenities. The 1st Class refers to coaches with separate cabins, coaches can be air-conditioned or non air-conditioned.

An AC 1 Class coach

Further, other AC classes can have 2 or 3 tier berths, with higher prices for the former, 3-tier non-AC coaches or 2nd class seating coaches, which are popular among passengers going on shorter journeys.

In air-conditioned sleeper classes passengers are provided with sheets, pillows and blankets. Meals and refreshments are provided, to all the passengers of reserved classes, either through the on-board pantry service or through special catering arrangements in trains without pantry car. Unreserved coach passengers have options of purchasing from licensed vendors either on board or on the platform of intermediate stops.

The amenities depend on the popularity and length of the route. Lavatories are communal and feature both the Indian style as well as the Western style.

The following table lists the classes in operation. Not all classes may be attached to a rake though.

Class[21] Description[21][22]
1A The First class AC: This is the most expensive class, where the fares are on par with airlines. Bedding is included with the fare in IR. This air conditioned coach is present only on popular routes between metropolitan cities and can carry 18 passengers. The coaches are carpeted, have sleeping accommodation and have privacy features like personal coupes.
2A AC-Two tier: Air conditioned coaches with sleeping berths, ample leg room, curtains and individual reading lamps. Berths are usually arranged in two tiers in bays of six, four across the width of the coach then the gangway then two berths longways, with curtains provided to give some privacy from those walking up and down. Bedding is included with the fare. A broad gauge coach can carry 48 passengers.
FC First class: Same as 1AC, without the air conditioning. This class is not very common.
3A AC three tier: Air conditioned coaches with sleeping berths. Berths are usually arranged as in 2AC but with three tiers across the width and two longways as before giving eight bays of eight. They are slightly less well appointed, usually no reading lights or curtained off gangways. Bedding is included with fare. It carries 64 passengers in broad gauge.
CC AC chair car: An air-conditioned seater coach with a total of five seats in a row used for day travel between cities.
EC Executive class chair car: An air-conditioned seater coach with a total of four seats in a row used for day travel between cities.
SL Sleeper class: The sleeper class is the most common coach, and usually ten or more coaches could be attached. These are regular sleeping coaches with three berths vertically stacked. In broad gauge, it carries 72 passengers per coach. Railways have modified certain Sleeper Coaches on popular trains to accommodate 81 passengers in place of regular 72 passengers. This was done in order to facilitate benefits like clear the Passenger rush and simultaneously earn more revenue. But this has got lukewarm response with criticism from the travellers and railways has decided to remove them.
2S Seater class: same as AC Chair car, but without the air-conditioning.
G or UR General or Unreserved: The cheapest accommodation, with seats made of pressed wood and are rarely cushioned. Although entry into the compartment is guaranteed, a sitting seat is not guaranteed. Tickets issued are valid on any train on the same route if boarded within 24 hours of buying the ticket. These coaches are usually very crowded.
A typical sleeper class coach

At the rear of the train is a special compartment known as the guard's cabin. It is fitted with a transceiver and is where the guard usually gives the all clear signal before the train departs. A standard passenger rake generally has four general compartments, two at the front and two behind, of which one is exclusively for ladies. The exact number varies according to the demand and the route. A luggage compartment can also exist at the front or the back. In some trains a separate mail compartment is present. In long-distance trains a pantry car is usually included in the centre. A new class; Economy AC three tier is introduced in the Sealdah-New Delhi Duronto train.

Notable trains and achievements

A train on the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway

There are two UNESCO World Heritage Sites on IR — the Chatrapati Shivaji Terminus[23] and the Mountain railways of India. The latter is not contiguous, but actually consists of three separate railway lines located in different parts of India:[24]

The Palace on Wheels is a specially designed train, frequently hauled by a steam locomotive, for promoting tourism in Rajasthan. On the same lines, the Maharashtra government introduced the Deccan Odyssey covering various tourist destinations in Maharashtra and Goa, and was followed by the Government of Karnataka which introduced the Golden Chariot train connecting popular tourist destinations in Karnataka and Goa. However, neither of them has been able to enjoy the popular success of the Palace on Wheels.

The Samjhauta Express is a train that runs between India and Pakistan. However, hostilities between the two nations in 2001 saw the line being closed. It was reopened when the hostilities subsided in 2004. Another train connecting Khokhrapar (Pakistan) and Munabao (India) is the Thar Express that restarted operations on February 18, 2006; it was earlier closed down after the 1965 Indo-Pak war. The Kalka Shimla Railway till recently featured in the Guinness Book of World Records for offering the steepest rise in altitude in the space of 96 kilometre.[25]

A Beyer Garratt 6594 Engine seen at the National Rail Museum

The Lifeline Express is a special train popularly known as the "Hospital-on-Wheels" which provides healthcare to the rural areas. This train has a carriage that serves as an operating room, a second one which serves as a storeroom and an additional two that serve as a patient ward. The train travels around the country, staying at a location for about two months before moving elsewhere.

Among the famous locomotives, the Fairy Queen is the oldest operating locomotive in the world today, though it is operated only for specials between Delhi and Alwar. John Bull, a locomotive older than Fairy Queen, operated in 1981 commemorating its 150th anniversary. Kharagpur railway station also has the distinction of being the world's longest railway platform at 1,072 m (3,517 ft). The Ghum station along the Darjeeling Toy Train route is the second highest railway station in the world to be reached by a steam locomotive.[26] The Mumbai–Pune Deccan Queen has the oldest running dining car in IR.

The Himsagar Express, between Kanyakumari and Jammu Tawi, has the longest run in terms of distance and time on Indian Railways network. It covers 3,745 km (2,327 mi) in about 74 hours and 55 minutes. The Bhopal Shatabdi Express is the fastest train in India today having a maximum speed of 150 km/h (93 mph) on the FaridabadAgra section. The fastest speed attained by any train is 184 km/h (114 mph) in 2000 during test runs.

The Rajdhani Express and Shatabdi Express are the superfast, fully air-conditioned trains that give the unique opportunity of experiencing Indian Railways at its best. In July 2009, a new non-stop train service called Duronto Express was announced by the railway minister Mamata Banerjee.[27]

Fares and ticketing

Fares on the Indian Railways across categories are among the cheapest in the world. In the past few years, despite a recessionary environment, the Indian Railways have not raised fares on any class of service. On the contrary, there has been a minor dip in fares in some categories.

Ticketing services are available at all major and minor railway stations across India. In 2003, Indian Railways launched online ticketing services through the IRCTC website.[28] Apart from E-tickets, passengers can also book I-tickets that are basically regular printed tickets, except that they are booked online and delivered by post.

Tourism

IRCTC takes care of the tourism operations of the Indian Railways. The Indian Railways operates several luxury trains such as Palace on Wheels, Golden Chariot, Royal Orient Express and Deccan Odyssey; that cater mostly to foreign tourists. For domestic tourists too, there are several packages available that cover various important tourist and pilgrimage destinations across India.

Freight

A single line rail bridge

IR carries a huge variety of goods ranging from mineral ores, fertilizers and petrochemicals, agricultural produce, iron & steel, multimodal traffic and others. Ports and major urban areas have their own dedicated freight lines and yards. Many important freight stops have dedicated platforms and independent lines.

Indian Railways makes 70% of its revenues and most of its profits from the freight sector, and uses these profits to cross-subsidise the loss-making passenger sector. However, competition from trucks which offer cheaper rates has seen a decrease in freight traffic in recent years. Since the 1990s, Indian Railways has switched from small consignments to larger container movement which has helped speed up its operations. Most of its freight earnings come from such rakes carrying bulk goods such as coal, cement, food grains and iron ore.

Indian Railways also transports vehicles over long distances. Trucks that carry goods to a particular location are hauled back by trains saving the trucking company on unnecessary fuel expenses. Refrigerated vans are also available in many areas. The "Green Van" is a special type used to transport fresh food and vegetables. Recently Indian Railways introduced the special 'Container Rajdhani' or CONRAJ, for high priority freight. The highest speed notched up for a freight train is 100 kilometres per hour (62 mph) for a 4,700 metric tonne load.

Recent changes have sought to boost the earnings from freight. A privatization scheme was introduced recently to improve the performance of freight trains. Companies are being allowed to run their own container trains. The first length of an 11,000-kilometre (6,800 mi) freight corridor linking India's biggest cities has recently been approved. The railways has increased load limits for the system's 225,000 freight wagons by 11%, legalizing something that was already happening. Due to increase in manufacturing transport in India that was augmented by the increase in fuel cost, transportation by rail became advantageous financially. New measures such as speeding up the turnaround times have added some 24% to freight revenues.

Dedicated Freight Corridor

Ministry of Railways have planned to construct a new Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC) covering about 2762 route km on two corridors, Eastern Corridor from Ludhiana to Sone Nagar and Western Corridor from Jawahar Lal Nehru Port Mumbai to Tughlakabad/Dadri along with interlinking of two corridors at Khurja. Upgrading of transportation technology, increase in productivity and reduction in unit transportation cost are the focus areas for the project.

“Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India Limited (DFCC)” is a special purpose vehicle created to undertake planning & development, mobilization of financial resources and construction, maintenance and operation of the Dedicated Freight Corridors. DFCC has been registered as a company under the Companies Act 1956 on 30 October 2006.

Rail budget and finances

A sample ticket

The Railway Budget deals with planned infrastructure expenditure on the railways as well as with the operating revenue and expenditure for the upcoming fiscal years, the public elements of which are usually the induction and improvement of existing trains and routes, planned investment in new and existing infrastructure elements, and the tariff for freight and passenger travel. The Parliament discusses the policies and allocations proposed in the budget. The budget needs to be passed by a simple majority in the Lok Sabha (Lower House). The comments of the Rajya Sabha (Upper House) are non-binding. Indian Railways is subject to the same audit control as other government revenue and expenditures. Based on anticipated traffic and the projected tariff, requirement of resources for capital and revenue expenditure of railways is worked out. While the revenue expenditure is met entirely by railways itself, the shortfall in the capital (plan) expenditure is met partly from borrowings (raised by Indian Railway Finance Corporation) and the rest from Budgetary support from the Central Government. Indian Railways pays dividend to the Central Government for the capital invested by the Central Government.

As per the Separation Convention (on the recommendations of the Acworth Committee), 1924, the Railway Budget is presented to the Parliament by the Union Railway Minister, two days prior to the General Budget, usually around 26 February. Though the Railway Budget is separately presented to the Parliament, the figures relating to the receipt and expenditure of the Railways are also shown in the General Budget, since they are a part and parcel of the total receipts and expenditure of the Government of India. This document serves as a balance sheet of operations of the Railways during the previous year and lists out plans for expansion for the current year.

The formation of policy and overall control of the railways is vested in Railway Board, comprising the Chairman, the Financial Commissioner and other functional members of Traffic, Engineering, Mechanical, Electrical and Staff departments.

Indian Railways, which a few years ago was operating at a loss, has, in recent years, been generating positive cash flows and been meeting its dividend obligations to the government, with (unaudited) operating profits going up substantially.[29] The railway reported a cash surplus of INR 9000 cr in 2005, INR 14000 cr in 2006, INR 20,000 cr in 2007 and INR 25,000 cr for the 2007-2008 fiscal year. Its operating ratio improved to 76% while, in the last four years, its plan size increased from INR 13,000 cr to INR 30,000 cr. The proposed investment for the 2008-2009 fiscal year is INR 37,500 cr, 21% more than for the previous fiscal year.[2] Budget Estimates-2008 for Freight, Passenger, Sundry other Earnings and other Coaching Earnings have been kept at INR 52,700 cr, INR 21,681 cr, INR 5,000 cr and INR 2,420 cr respectively. Maintaining an overall double digit growth, Gross Traffic Earnings have been projected as INR 93,159 crore in 2009-10 (19.1 billion USD at current rate), exceeding the revised estimates for the current fiscal by INR 10,766 crore.[2] Around 20% of the passenger revenue is earned from the upper class segments of the passenger segment (the air-conditioned classes).[30]

The Sixth Pay Commission was constituted by the Government of India in 2005 to review the pay structure of government employees, and submitted its recommendations in April 2008. Based on its recommendations, the salaries of all Railways officers and staff were to be revised with retrospective effect w.e.f. January 1, 2006, resulting in an expenditure of over Rs. 13000 crore in 2008-09 and Rs. 14000 crore in 2009-10. Consequently, staff costs have risen from 44% of ordinary working expenses to 52%.[31]

Issues

Most of the railway stations and cars are in gross disrepair, dirty, outdated and overcrowded. It is common to see passengers on trains hanging out windows and even on the roof creating safety problems.[32] The interior of the trains are poorly maintained - "very dirty, broken seats, filthy toilets, loose wires tangled in the passageways, chipped paint, and the usual stinks."[32] The railway has not yet been successful in addressing the overcrowding, cleanliness and other maintenance issues. Although accidents such as derailment and collisions are less common in recent times,[33] many are run over by trains, especially in crowded areas. Indian Railways have accepted the fact that given the size of operations, eliminating accidents is an unrealistic goal, and at best they can only minimize the accident rate. Human error is the primary cause, leading to 83% of all train accidents in India.[34] While accident rates are low - 0.55 accidents per million train kilometre,[34] the absolute number of people killed is high because of the large number of people making use of the network.[35] While strengthening and modernisation of railway infrastructure is in progress, much of the network still uses old signalling and has antiquated bridges.[34] Lack of funds is a major constraint for speedy modernisation of the network, which is further hampered by diversion of funds meant for infrastructure to lower-prioritised purposes due to political compulsions.[35] In order to solve this problem, the Ministry of Railways in 2001 created a non-lapsible safety fund of Rs. 17000 crore exclusively for the renewal of overaged tracks, bridges, rolling stock and signalling gear.[36] In 2003, the Ministry also prepared a Corporate Safety Plan for the next ten years with the objective of realising a vision of an accident-free and casualty-free railway system. The plan, with and outlay of Rs. 31835 crore, also envisaged development of appropriate technology for higher level of safety in train operation.[37]

Reforms and upgrades

One line Tunnel at Guntur division

Outdated communication, safety and signaling equipment, which used to contribute to failures in the system, is being updated with the latest technology. A number of train accidents happened on account of a system of manual signals between stations, so automated signaling is getting a boost at considerable expense. It is felt that this would be required given the gradual increase in train speeds and lengths, that would tend to make accidents more dangerous. In the latest instances of signaling control by means of interlinked stations, failure-detection circuits are provided for each track circuit and signal circuit with notification to the signal control centres in case of problems.[38] Though currently available only in a small subset of the overall IR system, anti-collision devices are to be extended to the entire system.[39] Aging colonial-era bridges and century-old tracks also require regular maintenance and upgrading.

Comparison of different gauges common in India with the standard one, which is not common in India

The fastest trains of Indian Railways, Rajdhani Express and Shatabadi Express face competition from low-cost airlines since they run at a maximum speed of only 150 kilometres per hour (93 mph).[40] At least six corridors are under consideration for the introduction of high speed bullet trains to India with expert assistance from France and Japan.

IR is in the process of upgrading stations, coaches, tracks, services, safety, and security, and streamlining its various software management systems including crew scheduling, freight, and passenger ticketing. Crew members will be able to log in using biometric scanners at kiosks while passengers can avail themselves of online booking.[41] Initially, various upgrade and overhaul work will be performed at more than five hundred stations, some of it by private contract. All metre gauge lines in the country will be converted to broad gauge (see Project Unigauge). New LHB stainless steel coaches, manufactured in India, have been installed in Rajdhani and Shatabdi express trains.[39] These coaches enhance the safety and riding comfort of passengers besides having more carrying capacity, and in time will replace thousands of old model coaches throughout Indian Railways. More durable and conforming polyurethane paint is now being used to enhance the quality of rakes and significantly reduce the cost of repainting. Improved ventilation and illumination are part of the new scheme of things, along with the decision to install air brake systems on all coaches. New manufacturing units are being set up to produce state-of-the-art locomotives and coaches.[39] IR is also expanding its telemedicine network facilities to further give its employees in far-flung and remote areas access to specialized medicine. IR has also piloted Internet connectivity on the Mumbai-Ahmedabad Shatabdi Express,[42] powered by Techno Sat Communications It is estimated that modernisation of IR and bringing it up to international standards would require over US$200 billion in new upgrades and investment.[43]

Sanitation in trains and stations throughout the system is getting more attention with the introduction of eco-friendly, discharge-free, green (or bio-) toilets developed by IIT Kanpur. Updated eco-friendly refrigerant is being used in AC systems while fire detection systems will be installed on trains in a phased manner. New rodent-control and cleanliness procedures are working their way into the many zones of IR. Central Railway's 'Operation Saturday' is gradually making progress, station by station, in the cleanup of its Mumbai division.

Augmentation of capacity has also been carried out in order to meet increasing demand. The number of coaches on each train have been increased to 24, from 16, which increased costs by 28% but increased revenues by 78%. The railways were permitted to carry 68 tons per wagon, up from the earlier limit of 54 tons per wagon, thereby cutting costs. The turnaround time for freight wagons was reduced from 7 days to 5 by operating the goods shed 24X7, electrifying every feeder line (this reduced time spent switching the engine from diesel to electric or from electric to diesel). Reducing the turnaround time meant that the Railways could now load 800 trains daily, instead of 550 trains daily. The minimum tonnage requirements were reduced allowing companies to unload their cargo at multiple stops.[44]

See also

Notes

  1. ^ "Railway Unit". Official webpage of Indian Railways. http://www.indianrailways.gov.in/organisation.htm. Retrieved 2009-06-06. 
  2. ^ a b c "Railways fiscal 2009/10 budget". http://in.reuters.com/article/businessNews/idINIndia-38002120090213?sp=true. Retrieved 2009-02-14. 
  3. ^ "Personnel". Indian Railways Yearbook 2008-2009. http://streamlinesupplychain.wordpress.com/2008/12/14/chinese-railways-versus-indian-railways/. Retrieved 2010-01-10. 
  4. ^ a b c Indian Railways Year Book (2006-2007). Ministry of Railways, Government of India. 2007. pp. 2–3. http://www.indianrailways.gov.in/deptts/stat-eco/YearBook_06_07.htm. Retrieved 2008-12-23. 
  5. ^ Indian Railways Year Book (2006-2007). Ministry of Railways, Government of India. 2007. p. 53. http://www.indianrailways.gov.in/deptts/stat-eco/YearBook_06_07.htm. Retrieved 2008-12-23. 
  6. ^ Guinness Book of World Records. Guinness World Records, Ltd. 2005. p. 93. ISBN 1892051222. 
  7. ^ "Organisation Structure". Official webpage of Indian Railways. http://www.indianrailways.gov.in/orgn.htm. Retrieved 2009-07-18. 
  8. ^ R.R. Bhandari (2005). Indian Railways: Glorious 150 years. Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India. pp. 44–52. ISBN 81-230-1254-3. 
  9. ^ [www.indianrail.gov.in/ir_zones.pdf "Zones and their Divisions in Indian Railways"]. Indian Railways. www.indianrail.gov.in/ir_zones.pdf. Retrieved 15 September 2009 format=PDF. 
  10. ^ "Geography: Railway zones". Indian Railways Fan Club. http://www.irfca.org/faq/faq-geog.html. Retrieved 2008-12-23. 
  11. ^ "Railways earns from freight; spends little on development". Business Standard. 2009-07-03. http://www.business-standard.com/railbudget09/storypage.php?autono=66484&tp=on. Retrieved 2009-09-03. 
  12. ^ "Rule 106, Chapter 1". INDIAN RAILWAY ESTABLISHMENT CODE (Vol - I). Indian Railways. http://www.indianrailways.gov.in/FinanceCode/est-code-I/estbl-vol1-chap1-p01-p24.htm#106. Retrieved 2009-09-03. 
  13. ^ "Rule 201, Chapter 2". INDIAN RAILWAY ESTABLISHMENT CODE (Vol - I). Indian Railways. http://www.indianrailways.gov.in/FinanceCode/est-code-I/estbl-vol1-chap2-p01-p23.htm#201. Retrieved 2009-09-03. 
  14. ^ "Rule 109, Chapter 1". Indian Railways Establishment Manual Volume-I. Indian Railways. http://www.indianrailways.gov.in/financecode/est-manual-I/IREM-Ch1_Data.htm#109. Retrieved 2009-09-03. 
  15. ^ a b compiled and edited by Research, Reference and Training Division. (2010). India Yearbook 2010. Publications Division, Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, Govt. of India. p. 961. ISBN 81 230 1557 7. 
  16. ^ "Toy Trains Of India". Our Trips - Royal Train Tours. India Calling Tours (P) Limited. http://www.triptoindia.com/toy-trains-of-india-royal-train-tours-of-india-calling-tours-trip-to-india.html. Retrieved 2007-05-12. 
  17. ^ "General Information". Central Organisation for Railway Electrification. Ministry of Railways, Government of India. http://www.core.railnet.gov.in/general/general1.htm. Retrieved 2009-07-18. 
  18. ^ "Historical Background of Railway electrification". Central Organisation for Railway Electrification. Ministry of Railways, Government of India. http://www.core.railnet.gov.in/general/Brief%20on%20RE.htm. Retrieved 2009-07-18. 
  19. ^ a b c "Electric Traction - I". IRFCA.org. Indian Railways Fan Club. http://www.irfca.org/faq/faq-elec.html. Retrieved 2007-06-19. 
  20. ^ "Reservation Rules". Indian Railways. 2008. http://www.indianrail.gov.in/resrules.html. Retrieved 2009-01-05. 
  21. ^ a b "General Information on travelling by IR". IRFCA.org. Indian Railways Fan Club. http://www.irfca.org/faq/faq-travel.html. Retrieved 2007-06-03. 
  22. ^ "Class of Travel". indiarail.co.uk. S.D.Enterprises Ltd. http://www.indiarail.co.uk/indrail.htm. Retrieved 2007-06-03. 
  23. ^ "Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (formerly Victoria Terminus)". World Heritage List. World Heritage Committee. 2004. http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/945. Retrieved 2009-01-05. 
  24. ^ "Mountain Railways of India". World Heritage List. World Heritage Committee. 1999. http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/944/. Retrieved 2009-01-05. 
  25. ^ "100 years of pine-scented travel". http://www.tribuneindia.com/2003/20031108/windows/main1.htm. Retrieved 2009-02-14. 
  26. ^ "Hill trains". http://www.indianrail.gov.in/dm_hill.html. Retrieved 2009-02-14. 
  27. ^ "'Duronto' trains will be faster than Rajdhani". Indian Express. 2009-07-03. http://www.indianexpress.com/news/duronto-train-services-for-major-cities/484594/. Retrieved 2009-07-03. 
  28. ^ "On the right track". Rediff.com. http://www.rediff.com/search/2003/jul/29train.htm. Retrieved 2009-02-14. 
  29. ^ "Statistical Summary-Indian Railways". 2006-02-23. http://www.indianrail.gov.in/summary06.htm. Retrieved 2008-04-08. 
  30. ^ Arun Kumar Das. "Indian Railway takes the E-route". Online edition of the Times of India, dated 2005-06-19. http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/1146548.cms. Retrieved 2008-12-10. 
  31. ^ "Pay panel award to cost Rlys Rs 13,600 cr". The Hindu Business Line. 2009-02-14. http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/2009/02/14/stories/2009021451801500.htm. Retrieved 2009-09-02. 
  32. ^ a b Template:Cite Paul Theroux, Ghost Train to the Eastern Star: On the Tracks of the Great Railway Bazaar, P.156 (First Mariner Books 2008)
  33. ^ "Railways take measures to prevent accidents". Press Information Bureau. 2009-08-06. http://pib.nic.in/release/release.asp?relid=51548. Retrieved 2009-08-08. 
  34. ^ a b c Amulya Gopalakrishnan (2003-07-19). "A poor track record". Frontline. http://www.frontlineonnet.com/fl2015/stories/20030801006911900.htm. Retrieved 2008-12-10. 
  35. ^ a b Sanjeev Srivastava (2002-04-16). "Indian rail marks 150th anniversary". BBC. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/1931229.stm. 
  36. ^ "PM clears Rs. 17,000 cr. fund to modernise Rlys.". The Hindu. 2001-07-03. http://www.hindu.com/2001/07/03/stories/0203000j.htm. Retrieved 2009-09-03. 
  37. ^ "10-year Corporate Safety Plan for rlys.". The Hindu. 2003-08-20. http://www.hinduonnet.com/2003/08/20/stories/2003082003231300.htm. Retrieved 2009-09-03. 
  38. ^ "Indian Railways Signalling Systems". http://www.irfca.org/faq/faq-signal.html. Retrieved 2009-02-14. 
  39. ^ a b c "HIGHLIGHTS OF RAILWAY BUDGET 2008-09". Official webpage of Indian Railways. http://www.indianrailways.gov.in/budget-0809/HIGHLIGHTS-0809-ENG.PDF. Retrieved 2008-12-13. 
  40. ^ "Business Travel Still On Track - Cover Story - FE Business Traveller". Businesstravellerindia.com. http://www.businesstravellerindia.com/200603/coverstory01.shtml. Retrieved 2008-11-11. 
  41. ^ "Railways to modernise six stations". The Economic Times. 2007-09-04. http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/Railways/Railways_to_modernise_six_stations/articleshow/2336488.cms. Retrieved 2009-09-02. 
  42. ^ "WiFi In Trains Piloted On Shatabdi Express; Music Downloads, Movies On Demand?". MediaNama.com. http://www.medianama.com/2009/01/223-wifi-in-trains-piloted-on-shatabdi-express-music-downloads-movies-on-demand/. Retrieved 2009-11-13. 
  43. ^ Dinesh Trivedi (2007-02-27). "It’s a great waste of potential & possibilities". The Telegraph. http://www.telegraphindia.com/1070227/asp/business/story_7446475.asp. Retrieved 2009-09-02. 
  44. ^ "On the right track". Forbes. http://www.forbes.com/global/2008/1027/024a.html. Retrieved 2009-06-28. 

References

External links

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Indian Railways
Type Departmental Undertaking of The Ministry of Railways, Government of India
Industry Rail transport
Founded 16 April 1853 (1853-04-16)[1]
Headquarters New Delhi, Delhi, India
Area served India
Key people Mamata Banerjee
(Ministry of Railways)

E. Ahamed & K.H. Muniyappa (Ministers of State)
Vivek Sahai
(Chairman, Railway Board)
[2]
Products Rail transport, Cargo transport, Services, more...
Revenue  88,355 crore (US$19.88 billion) (2009-10)[3]
Net income  951 crore (US$213.98 million) (2009-10)[3]
Owner(s) Republic of India (100%)
Employees 1,600,000 (2009)[4]
Divisions 16 Railway Zones (excluding Konkan Railway)
Website Indianrailways.gov.in

Indian Railways (Hindi: भारतीय रेल Bhāratīya Rail), abbreviated as IR (Hindi: भा.रे.), is the state-owned railway company of India, which owns and operates most of the country's rail transport. It is overseen by the Ministry of Railways of the Government of India.

Indian Railways has more than 64,015 kilometres (39,777 mi)[5] of track and 6,909 stations. It has the world's fourth largest railway network after that of the United States, Russia and China.[5] The railways traverse the length and breadth of the country and carry over 20 million passengers and 2 million tons of freight daily.[6][7] It is one of the world's largest commercial or utility employers, with more than 1.6 million employees.[6][8] As to rolling stock, IR owns over 200,000 (freight) wagons, 50,000 coaches and 8,000 locomotives.[6]

Railways were first introduced to India in 1853. By 1947, the year of India's independence, there were forty-two rail systems. In 1951 the systems were nationalised as one unit, becoming one of the largest networks in the world. IR operates both long distance and suburban rail systems on a multi-gauge network of broad, metre and narrow gauges. It also owns locomotive and coach production facilities.

Initially, the Indian railways were both designed and built by the British, during their colonial rule of the subcontinent.

Contents

Organisational structure

Indian Railways is a department owned and controlled by the Government of India, via the Ministry of Railways. As of May 2010, the Railway Ministry is headed by Mamata Banerjee, the Union Minister for Railways, and assisted by two ministers of State for Railways. Indian Railways is administered by the Railway Board, which has a financial commissioner, five members and a chairman.[9]

Railway zones

]]

Indian Railways is divided into zones, which are further sub-divided into divisions. The number of zones in Indian Railways increased from six to eight in 1951, nine in 1952, and finally 16 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-seven divisions.[10][11]

The Delhi Metro is owned and operated by Indian Railways, but is not a part of any of the zones. It is administratively considered to have the status of a zonal railway.[12]

Each of the sixteen zones, as well as the Kolkata Metro, is headed by a General Manager (GM) who reports directly to the Railway Board. The zones are further divided into divisions under the control of Divisional Railway Managers (DRM). The divisional officers of engineering, mechanical, electrical, signal and telecommunication, accounts, personnel, operating, commercial and safety branches report to the respective Divisional Manager and are in charge of operation and maintenance of assets. Further down the hierarchy tree are the Station Masters who control individual stations and the train movement through the track territory under their stations' administration.

Sl. No Name Abbr. Date Established Headquarters Divisions
1. Central CR 1951, November 5 Mumbai Mumbai, Bhusawal, Pune, Solapur, Nagpur
2. East Central ECR 2002, October 1 Hajipur Danapur, Dhanbad, Mughalsarai, Samastipur, Sonpur
3. East Coast ECoR 2003, April 1 Bhubaneswar Khurda Road, Sambalpur, Visakhapatnam
4. Eastern ER 1952, April Kolkata Howrah, Sealdah, Asansol, Malda
5. North Central NCR 2003, April 1 Allahabad Allahabad, Agra, Jhansi
6. North Eastern NER 1952 Gorakhpur Izzatnagar, Lucknow, Varanasi
7. North Western NWR 2002, October 1 Jaipur Jaipur, Ajmer, Bikaner, Jodhpur
8. Northeast Frontier NFR 1958 Guwahati Alipurduar, Katihar, Lumding, Rangia, Tinsukia
9. Northern NR 1952, April 14 Delhi Delhi, Ambala, Firozpur, Lucknow, Moradabad
10. South Central SCR 1966, October 2 Secunderabad Secunderabad, Hyderabad, Guntakal, Guntur, Nanded, Vijayawada
11. South East Central SECR 2003, April 1 Bilaspur Bilaspur, Raipur, Nagpur
12. South Eastern SER 1955 Kolkata Adra, Chakradharpur, Kharagpur, Ranchi
13. South Western SWR 2003, April 1 Hubli Hubli, Bangalore, Mysore
14. Southern SR 1951, April 14 Chennai Chennai, Madurai, Palakkad, Salem, Tiruchchirapalli, Trivandrum(Thiruvananthapuram)
15. West Central WCR 2003, April 1 Jabalpur Jabalpur, Bhopal, Kota
16. Western WR 1951, November 5 Mumbai Mumbai Central, Ratlam, Ahmedabad, Rajkot, Bhavnagar, Vadodara

Recruitment and training

, India]] With approximately 1.6 million employees, Indian Railways is the country's single largest employer.[13] Staff are classified into gazetted (Group A and B) and non-gazetted (Group C and D) employees.[14] The recruitment of Group A gazetted employees is carried out by the Union Public Service Commission through exams conducted by it.[15] The recruitment to Group 'C' and 'D' employees on the Indian Railways is done through 19 Railway Recruitment Boards which are controlled by the Railway Recruitment Control Board (RRCB).[16] The training of all cadres is entrusted and shared between six centralised training institutes.

Subsidiaries

locomotive]]

Indian Railways manufactures much of its rolling stock and heavy engineering components at its six manufacturing plants, called Production Units, which are managed directly by the ministry. As with most developing economies, the main reason for this was the policy of import substitution of expensive technology related products when the general state of the national engineering industry was immature. Each of these six production units is headed by a General Manager, who also reports directly to the Railway Board.

There exist independent organisations under the control of the Railway Board for electrification, modernisation and research and design, each of which is headed by a General Manager. A number of Public Sector Undertakings, which perform railway-related functions ranging from consultancy to ticketing, are also under the administrative control of the Ministry of railways.

Technical details

Track

Indian railways uses four gauges, the 1,676mm broad gauge which is wider than the 1,435mm standard gauge; the 1,000mm metre gauge; and two narrow gauges, 762 mm (2 ft 6 in) and 610 mm (2 ft) . Track sections are rated for speeds ranging from 75 to 160 km/h.

The total length of track used by Indian Railways was about 111,600 km (69,300 mi) while the total route length of the network was 64,061 km (39,806 mi) on 31 March 2010.[17] About 31% of the route-kilometre and 46% of the total track kilometre was electrified on 31 March 2010.[17]

File:Narmada at
Broad gauge is the predominant gauge used by Indian Railways.

Broad gauge is the predominant gauge used by Indian Railways. Indian broad gauge1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in)—is the most widely used gauge in India with 96,851 km of track length (86.8% of entire track length of all the gauges) and 51,082 km of route-kilometre (80.7% of entire route-kilometre of all the gauges) on 31 March 2008.

In some regions with less traffic, the metre gauge (1,000mm) is common, although the Unigauge project is in progress to convert all tracks to broad gauge. The metre gauge had 11,676 km of track length (10.5% of entire track length of all the gauges) and 9,442 km of route-kilometre (14.9% of entire route-kilometre of all the gauges) on 31 March 2008.

The Narrow gauges are present on a few routes, lying in hilly terrains and in some erstwhile private railways (on cost considerations), which are usually difficult to convert to broad gauge. Narrow gauges had a total of 2,749 route-kilometre on 31 March 2008. The Kalka-Shimla Railway, the Nilgiri Mountain Railway and the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway are three notable hill lines that use narrow gauge.[18] Those three will not be converted under the Unigauge project.

The share of broad gauge in the total route-kilometre has been steadily rising, increasing from 47% (25,258 route-km) in 1951 to more than 83% in 2010 whereas the share of metre gauge has declined from 45% (24,185 route-km) to less than 13% in the same period and the share of narrow gauges has decreased from 8% to 3%. However, the total route-kilometre has increased by only 18% (by just 10,000 km from 53,596 route-km in 1951) in the last 60 years. This compares very poorly with Chinese railways, which increased from about 27,000 route-km at the end of second world war to about 90,000 route-km in 2010, an increase of more than three-fold. More than 28,000 route-km (34% of the total route-km) of Chinese railway is electrified compared to only about 20,059 route-km of Indian railways. This is an indication of the poor state of Indian railways where the funds allocated to new railway lines are meagre, construction of new uneconomic railway lines are taken up due to political interference without ensuring availability of funds and the projects incur huge cost and time overruns due to poor project-management and paucity of funds.

Sleepers (ties) used are made of prestressed concrete, or steel or cast iron posts, though teak sleepers are still in use on few older lines. The prestressed concrete sleeper is in wide use today. Metal sleepers were extensively used before the advent of concrete sleepers. Indian Railways divides the country into four zones on the basis of the range of track temperature. The greatest temperature variations occur in Rajasthan, where the difference may exceed 70°C.

Traction

As of March 2010, 20,059 km of the total 64,015 km route length is electrified.[19] Since 1960, almost all electrified sections on IR use 25,000 V AC traction through overhead catenary delivery.[20][21] A major exception is the entire Mumbai section, which uses 1,500 V DC.[21] and is currently undergoing change to the 25,000 V AC system. Another exception is the Kolkata Metro, which uses 750 V DC delivered through a third rail.

Traction voltages are changed at two places close to Mumbai. Central Railway trains passing through Igatpuri switch from AC to DC using a neutral section that may be switched to either voltage while the locomotives are decoupled and swapped. Western Railway trains switch power on the fly, in a section between Virar (DC) and Vaitarna (AC), where the train continues with its own momentum for about 30 m through an unelectrified section of catenary called a dead zone.[21] All electric engines and EMUs operating in this section are the necessary AC/DC dual system type (classified "WCAM" by IndianRailways).

Services

Passenger

Train in Srinagar]]

Indian Railways operates about 9,000 passenger trains and transports 20 million passengers daily across twenty-eight states and two union territories. Sikkim and Meghalaya are the only states not connected by rail. A standard passenger train consists of eighteen coaches, but popular trains can have up to 26 coaches.

]] Coaches are designed to accommodate anywhere from 18 to 108 passengers, but during the holiday seasons and/or on busy routes, more passengers may travel in unreserved coaches. Most regular trains have coaches connected through vestibules. However, 'unreserved coaches' are not connected with the rest of the train via any vestibule.

File:Narmada Express
An un-vestibulated coach of the Indian train

Reservation against cancellation service is a provision for shared berth in case the travel ticket is not confirmed.[22]

Accommodation classes

]]

Several long trains are composed of two to three classes of travel, such as a 1st and 2nd classes which have different pricing systems for various amenities. The 1st Class refers to coaches with separate cabins, coaches can be air-conditioned or non air-conditioned.

File:Narmada Ac
An AC 1 Class coach

Further, other AC classes can have 2 or 3 tier berths, with higher prices for the former, 3-tier non-AC coaches or 2nd class seating coaches, which are popular among passengers going on shorter journeys.

In air-conditioned sleeper classes passengers are provided with sheets, pillows and blankets. Meals and refreshments are provided, to all the passengers of reserved classes, either through the on-board pantry service or through special catering arrangements in trains without pantry car. Unreserved coach passengers have options of purchasing from licensed vendors either on board or on the platform of intermediate stops.

The amenities depend on the popularity and length of the route. Lavatories are communal and feature both the Indian style as well as the Western style.

The following table lists the classes in operation. Not all classes may be attached to a rake though.

Class[23] Description[23][24]
1A The First class AC: This is the most expensive class, where the fares are on par with airlines. Bedding is included with the fare in IR. This air conditioned coach is present only on popular routes between metropolitan cities and can carry 18 passengers. The coaches are carpeted, have sleeping accommodation and have privacy features like personal coupes.
2A AC-Two tier: Air conditioned coaches with sleeping berths, ample leg room, curtains and individual reading lamps. Berths are usually arranged in two tiers in bays of six, four across the width of the coach then the gangway then two berths longways, with curtains provided to give some privacy from those walking up and down. Bedding is included with the fare. A broad gauge coach can carry 48 passengers.
FC First class: Same as 1AC, without the air conditioning. This class is not very common.
3A AC three tier: Air conditioned coaches with sleeping berths. Berths are usually arranged as in 2AC but with three tiers across the width and two longways as before giving eight bays of eight. They are slightly less well appointed, usually no reading lights or curtained off gangways. Bedding is included with fare. It carries 64 passengers in broad gauge.
3E AC three tier (Economy): Air conditioned coaches with sleeping berths, present in Garib Rath Trains. Berths are usually arranged as in 3AC but with three tiers across the width and three longways. They are slightly less well appointed, usually no reading lights or curtained off gangways. Bedding is included with fare.
CC AC chair car: An air-conditioned seater coach with a total of five seats in a row used for day travel between cities.
EC Executive class chair car: An air-conditioned seater coach with a total of four seats in a row used for day travel between cities.
SL Sleeper class: The sleeper class is the most common coach, and usually ten or more coaches could be attached. These are regular sleeping coaches with three berths vertically stacked. In broad gauge, it carries 72 passengers per coach. Railways have modified certain Sleeper Coaches on popular trains to accommodate 81 passengers in place of regular 72 passengers. This was done in order to facilitate benefits like clear the Passenger rush and simultaneously earn more revenue. But this has got lukewarm response with criticism from the travellers and railways has decided to remove them.
2S Seater class: same as AC Chair car, but with bench style seats and without the air-conditioning.
UR Unreserved: The cheapest accommodation, with seats made of pressed wood and are rarely cushioned. Although entry into the compartment is guaranteed, a sitting seat is not guaranteed. Tickets issued are valid on any train on the same route if boarded within 24 hours of buying the ticket. These coaches are usually very crowded.
G GaribRath: The cheapest air conditioned accommodation, the seats are same as the 3A coaches, but there are three berths at the side, unlike the other ac coaches, these coaches are very crowded.


At the rear of the train is a special compartment known as the guard's cabin. It is fitted with a transceiver and is where the guard usually gives the all clear signal before the train departs. A standard passenger rake generally has four general compartments, two at the front and two behind, of which one is exclusively for ladies. The exact number varies according to the demand and the route. A luggage compartment can also exist at the front or the back. In some trains a separate mail compartment is present. In long-distance trains a pantry car is usually included in the centre. A new class; Economy AC three tier is introduced in the Sealdah-New Delhi Duronto train.

Notable trains and achievements

There are two UNESCO World Heritage Sites on IR — the Chatrapati Shivaji Terminus[25] and the Mountain railways of India. The latter is not contiguous, but actually consists of three separate railway lines located in different parts of India:[26]

The Palace on Wheels is a specially designed train, frequently hauled by a steam locomotive, for promoting tourism in Rajasthan. On the same lines, the Maharashtra government introduced the Deccan Odyssey covering various tourist destinations in Maharashtra and Goa, and was followed by the Government of Karnataka which introduced the Golden Chariot train connecting popular tourist destinations in Karnataka and Goa. However, neither of them has been able to enjoy the popular success of the Palace on Wheels.

The Samjhauta Express is a train that runs between India and Pakistan. However, hostilities between the two nations in 2001 saw the line being closed. It was reopened when the hostilities subsided in 2004. Another train connecting Khokhrapar (Pakistan) and Munabao (India) is the Thar Express that restarted operations on February 18, 2006; it was earlier closed down after the 1965 Indo-Pak war. In 2003 the Kalka Shimla Railway was featured in the Guinness Book of World Records for offering the steepest rise in altitude in the space of 96 kilometre.[27]

]]

The Lifeline Express is a special train popularly known as the "Hospital-on-Wheels" which provides healthcare to the rural areas. This train has a carriage that serves as an operating room, a second one which serves as a storeroom and an additional two that serve as a patient ward. The train travels around the country, staying at a location for about two months before moving elsewhere.

Among the famous locomotives, the Fairy Queen is the oldest operating locomotive in the world today, though it is operated only for specials between Delhi and Alwar. John Bull, a locomotive older than Fairy Queen, operated in 1981 commemorating its 150th anniversary. Kharagpur railway station also has the distinction of being the world's longest railway platform at 1,072 m (3,517 ft). The Ghum station along the Darjeeling Toy Train route is the second highest railway station in the world to be reached by a steam locomotive.[28] The Mumbai–Pune Deccan Queen has the oldest running dining car in IR.

The Himsagar Express, between Kanyakumari and Jammu Tawi, has the longest run in terms of distance and time on Indian Railways network. It covers 3,745 km (2,327 mi) in about 74 hours and 55 minutes. The Bhopal Shatabdi Express is the fastest train in India today having a maximum speed of 150 km/h (93 mph) on the FaridabadAgra section. The fastest speed attained by any train is 184 km/h (114 mph) in 2000 during test runs.

The Rajdhani Express and Shatabdi Express are the superfast, fully air-conditioned trains that give the unique opportunity of experiencing Indian Railways at its best. In July 2009, a new non-stop train service called Duronto Express was announced by the railway minister Mamata Banerjee.[29]

Fares and ticketing

Fares on the Indian Railways across categories are among the cheapest in the world. In the past few years, despite a recessionary environment, the Indian Railways have not raised fares on any class of service. On the contrary, there has been a minor dip in fares in some categories.

Ticketing services are available at all major and minor railway stations across India. In 2003, Indian Railways launched online ticketing services through the IRCTC website.[30] Apart from E-tickets, passengers can also book I-tickets that are basically regular printed tickets, except that they are booked online and delivered by post. According to comScore, the Indian Railways website was the top visited Indian travel site in April 2010, with 7.7 million visitors.[31]

Tourism

IRCTC takes care of the tourism operations of the Indian Railways. The Indian Railways operates several luxury trains such as Palace on Wheels, Golden Chariot, Royal Orient Express and Deccan Odyssey; that cater mostly to foreign tourists. For domestic tourists too, there are several packages available that cover various important tourist and pilgrimage destinations across India.

Freight

IR carries a huge variety of goods ranging from mineral ores, fertilizers and petrochemicals, agricultural produce, iron & steel, multimodal traffic and others. Ports and major urban areas have their own dedicated freight lines and yards. Many important freight stops have dedicated platforms and independent lines.

Indian Railways makes 70% of its revenues and most of its profits from the freight sector, and uses these profits to cross-subsidise the loss-making passenger sector. However, competition from trucks which offer cheaper rates has seen a decrease in freight traffic in recent years. Since the 1990s, Indian Railways has switched from small consignments to larger container movement which has helped speed up its operations. Most of its freight earnings come from such rakes carrying bulk goods such as coal, cement, food grains and iron ore.

Indian Railways also transports vehicles over long distances. Trucks that carry goods to a particular location are hauled back by trains saving the trucking company on unnecessary fuel expenses. Refrigerated vans are also available in many areas. The "Green Van" is a special type used to transport fresh food and vegetables. Recently Indian Railways introduced the special 'Container Rajdhani' or CONRAJ, for high priority freight. The highest speed notched up for a freight train is 100 kilometres per hour (62 mph) for a 4,700 metric tonne load.

Recent changes have sought to boost the earnings from freight. A privatization scheme was introduced recently to improve the performance of freight trains. Companies are being allowed to run their own container trains. The first length of an 11,000-kilometre (6,800 mi) freight corridor linking India's biggest cities has recently been approved. The railways has increased load limits for the system's 225,000 freight wagons by 11%, legalizing something that was already happening. Due to increase in manufacturing transport in India that was augmented by the increase in fuel cost, transportation by rail became advantageous financially. New measures such as speeding up the turnaround times have added some 24% to freight revenues.

Dedicated Freight Corridor

Under the Eleventh Five Year Plan of India(2007–2012), Ministry of Railways is constructing a new Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC) covering about 2762 route km long two routes - the Eastern Corridor from Ludhiana to Sone Nagar and the Western Corridor from Jawaharlal Nehru Port at Nhava Sheva, Mumbai to Tughlakabad/Dadri along with interlinking of two corridors at Dadri. Upgrading of transportation technology, increase in productivity and reduction in unit transportation cost are the focus areas for the project.[32] According to initial estimates, the project would cost  20,500 crore (US$4.6 billion).[33]

A new company, "Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India Limited(DFCCIL)", designated as a `special purpose vehicle`, has been created to undertake planning & development, mobilization of financial resources and construction, maintenance and operation of the Dedicated Freight Corridors. DFCCIL has been registered as a company under the Companies Act 1956 on 30 October 2006.[34]

Rail budget and finances

The Railway Budget deals with planned infrastructure expenditure on the railways as well as with the operating revenue and expenditure for the upcoming fiscal years, the public elements of which are usually the induction and improvement of existing trains and routes, planned investment in new and existing infrastructure elements, and the tariff for freight and passenger travel. The Parliament discusses the policies and allocations proposed in the budget. The budget needs to be passed by a simple majority in the Lok Sabha (Lower House). The comments of the Rajya Sabha (Upper House) are non-binding. Indian Railways is subject to the same audit control as other government revenue and expenditures. Based on anticipated traffic and the projected tariff, requirement of resources for capital and revenue expenditure of railways is worked out. While the revenue expenditure is met entirely by railways itself, the shortfall in the capital (plan) expenditure is met partly from borrowings (raised by Indian Railway Finance Corporation) and the rest from Budgetary support from the Central Government. Indian Railways pays dividend to the Central Government for the capital invested by the Central Government.

As per the Separation Convention (on the recommendations of the Acworth Committee), 1924, the Railway Budget is presented to the Parliament by the Union Railway Minister, two days prior to the General Budget, usually around 26 February. Though the Railway Budget is separately presented to the Parliament, the figures relating to the receipt and expenditure of the Railways are also shown in the General Budget, since they are a part and parcel of the total receipts and expenditure of the Government of India. This document serves as a balance sheet of operations of the Railways during the previous year and lists out plans for expansion for the current year.

The formation of policy and overall control of the railways is vested in Railway Board, comprising the Chairman, the Financial Commissioner and other functional members of Traffic, Engineering, Mechanical, Electrical and Staff departments.

Indian Railways, which a few years ago was operating at a loss, has, in recent years, been generating positive cash flows and been meeting its dividend obligations to the government, with (unaudited) operating profits going up substantially.[35] The railway reported a cash surplus of  900 crore (US$202.5 million) in 2005,  14,000 crore (US$3.2 billion) in 2006,  20,000 crore (US$4.5 billion) in 2007 and  25,000 crore (US$5.6 billion) for the 2007-2008 fiscal year. Its operating ratio improved to 76% while, in the last four years, its plan size increased from  13,000 crore (US$2.9 billion) to  30,000 crore (US$6.8 billion). The proposed investment for the 2008-2009 fiscal year is  37,500 crore (US$8.4 billion), 21% more than for the previous fiscal year.[3] Budget Estimates-2008 for Freight, Passenger, Sundry other Earnings and other Coaching Earnings have been kept at  52,700 crore (US$11.9 billion),  21,681 crore (US$4.9 billion),  5,000 crore (US$1.1 billion) and  2,420 crore (US$544.5 million) respectively. Maintaining an overall double digit growth, Gross Traffic Earnings have been projected as 93,159 crore in 2009–10 (19.1 billion USD at current rate), exceeding the revised estimates for the current fiscal by  10,766 crore (US$2.4 billion).[3] Around 20% of the passenger revenue is earned from the upper class segments of the passenger segment (the air-conditioned classes).[36]

The Sixth Pay Commission was constituted by the Government of India in 2005 to review the pay structure of government employees, and submitted its recommendations in April 2008. Based on its recommendations, the salaries of all Railways officers and staff were to be revised with retrospective effect w.e.f. January 1, 2006, resulting in an expenditure of over  13,000 crore (US$2.9 billion) in 2008-09 and  14,000 crore (US$3.2 billion) in 2009–10. Consequently, staff costs have risen from 44% of ordinary working expenses to 52%.[37]

Issues

Many railway stations are in gross disrepair, dirty, outdated and overcrowded, especially when compared to stations in developed countries. Sometimes passengers are seen on trains hanging out windows and even on the roof creating safety problems.[38] The interior of many train compartments are poorly maintained from rust, dirt and common wear and tear. Given the political infighting, corruption and inefficiencies, it is understandable that there are overcrowding, cleanliness and other maintenance issues. Although accidents such as derailment and collisions are less common in recent times,[39] many are run over by trains, especially in crowded areas. Indian Railways have accepted the fact that given the size of operations, eliminating accidents is an unrealistic goal, and at best they can only minimize the accident rate. Human error is the primary cause, leading to 83% of all train accidents in India.[40] While accident rates are low - 0.55 accidents per million train kilometre,[40] the absolute number of people killed is high because of the large number of people making use of the network.[41] While strengthening and modernisation of railway infrastructure is in progress, much of the network still uses old signalling and has antiquated bridges.[40] Lack of funds is a major constraint for speedy modernisation of the network, which is further hampered by diversion of funds meant for infrastructure to lower-prioritised purposes due to political compulsions.[41] In order to solve this problem, the Ministry of Railways in 2001 created a non-lapsible safety fund of  17,000 crore (US$3.8 billion) exclusively for the renewal of overaged tracks, bridges, rolling stock and signalling gear.[42] In 2003, the Ministry also prepared a Corporate Safety Plan for the next ten years with the objective of realising a vision of an accident-free and casualty-free railway system. The plan, with an outlay of  31,835 crore (US$7.2 billion), also envisaged development of appropriate technology for higher level of safety in train operation.[43]

Reforms and upgrades

]]

Outdated communication, safety and signaling equipment, which used to contribute to failures in the system, is being updated with the latest technology. A number of train accidents happened on account of a system of manual signals between stations, so automated signaling is getting a boost at considerable expense. It is felt that this would be required given the gradual increase in train speeds and lengths, that would tend to make accidents more dangerous. In the latest instances of signaling control by means of interlinked stations, failure-detection circuits are provided for each track circuit and signal circuit with notification to the signal control centres in case of problems.[44] Though currently available only in a small subset of the overall IR system, anti-collision devices are to be extended to the entire system.[45] Aging colonial-era bridges and century-old tracks also require regular maintenance and upgrading.

The fastest trains of Indian Railways, Rajdhani Express and Shatabadi Express face competition from low-cost airlines since they run at a maximum speed of only 150 kilometres per hour (93 mph).[46] At least six corridors are under consideration for the introduction of high speed bullet trains to India with expert assistance from France and Japan.

IR is in the process of upgrading stations, coaches, tracks, services, safety, and security, and streamlining its various software management systems including crew scheduling, freight, and passenger ticketing. Crew members will be able to log in using biometric scanners at kiosks while passengers can avail themselves of online booking.[47] Initially, various upgrade and overhaul work will be performed at more than five hundred stations, some of it by private contract. All metre gauge lines in the country will be converted to broad gauge (see Project Unigauge). New LHB stainless steel coaches, manufactured in India, have been installed in Rajdhani and Shatabdi express trains.[45] These coaches enhance the safety and riding comfort of passengers besides having more carrying capacity, and in time will replace thousands of old model coaches throughout Indian Railways. More durable and conforming polyurethane paint is now being used to enhance the quality of rakes and significantly reduce the cost of repainting. Improved ventilation and illumination are part of the new scheme of things, along with the decision to install air brake systems on all coaches. New manufacturing units are being set up to produce state-of-the-art locomotives and coaches.[45] IR is also expanding its telemedicine network facilities to further give its employees in far-flung and remote areas access to specialized medicine. IR has also piloted Internet connectivity on the Mumbai-Ahmedabad Shatabdi Express,[48] powered by Techno Sat Communications It is estimated that modernisation of IR and bringing it up to international standards would require US$280 billion in new upgrades and investment from 2010 to 2020.[49]

Sanitation in trains and stations throughout the system is getting more attention with the introduction of eco-friendly, discharge-free, green (or bio-) toilets developed by IIT Kanpur[citation needed]. Updated eco-friendly refrigerant is being used in AC systems while fire detection systems will be installed on trains in a phased manner. New rodent-control and cleanliness procedures are working their way into the many zones of IR. Central Railway's 'Operation Saturday' is gradually making progress, station by station, in the cleanup of its Mumbai division.

Augmentation of capacity has also been carried out in order to meet increasing demand. The number of coaches on each train have been increased to 24, from 16, which increased costs by 28% but increased revenues by 78%. The railways were permitted to carry 68 tons per wagon, up from the earlier limit of 54 tons per wagon, thereby cutting costs. The turnaround time for freight wagons was reduced from 7 days to 5 by operating the goods shed 24X7, electrifying every feeder line (this reduced time spent switching the engine from diesel to electric or from electric to diesel). Reducing the turnaround time meant that the Railways could now load 800 trains daily, instead of 550 trains daily. The minimum tonnage requirements were reduced allowing companies to unload their cargo at multiple stops.[50]

See also

Railways in India portal

Notes

  1. ^ "Times Of India". http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/patna/ECR-to-observe-Railway-Week-today/articleshow/5807165.cms. 
  2. ^ "Railway Unit". Official webpage of Indian Railways. http://pib.nic.in/release/release.asp?relid=62207. Retrieved 2009-06-06. 
  3. ^ a b c d "Railways fiscal 2009/10 budget". http://www.business-standard.com/india/news/indian-railways-profit-falls-93-in-two-years/17/56/86704/on. Retrieved February 24, 2010. 
  4. ^ "Personnel". Indian Railways Yearbook 2008-2009. http://streamlinesupplychain.wordpress.com/2008/12/14/chinese-railways-versus-indian-railways/. Retrieved 2010-01-10. 
  5. ^ a b Based on 2009 figures. The network is the third largest to be managed by a single operator. “Country Comparison:: RAILWAYS” CIA, ‘’The World Factbook’’ Accessed 2010-09-8
  6. ^ a b c Indian Railways Year Book (2006-2007). Ministry of Railways, Government of India. 2007. pp. 2–3. http://www.indianrailways.gov.in/deptts/stat-eco/YearBook_06_07.htm. Retrieved 2008-12-23. 
  7. ^ Indian Railways Year Book (2006-2007). Ministry of Railways, Government of India. 2007. p. 53. http://www.indianrailways.gov.in/deptts/stat-eco/YearBook_06_07.htm. Retrieved 2008-12-23. 
  8. ^ Guinness Book of World Records. Guinness World Records, Ltd. 2005. p. 93. ISBN 1892051222. 
  9. ^ "Organisation Structure". Official webpage of Indian Railways. http://www.indianrailways.gov.in/orgn.htm. Retrieved 2009-07-18. [dead link]
  10. ^ R.R. Bhandari (2005). Indian Railways: Glorious 150 years. Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India. pp. 44–52. ISBN 81-230-1254-3. 
  11. ^ "Zones and their Divisions in Indian Railways". Indian Railways. http://www.indianrail.gov.in/ir_zones.pdf. Retrieved 15 September 2009 format=PDF. 
  12. ^ "Geography: Railway zones". Indian Railways Fan Club. http://www.irfca.org/faq/faq-geog.html. Retrieved 2008-12-23. 
  13. ^ "Railways earns from freight; spends little on development". Business Standard. 2009-07-03. http://www.business-standard.com/railbudget09/storypage.php?autono=66484&tp=on. Retrieved 2009-09-03. 
  14. ^ "Rule 106, Chapter 1". INDIAN RAILWAY ESTABLISHMENT CODE (Vol - I). Indian Railways. http://www.indianrailways.gov.in/FinanceCode/est-code-I/estbl-vol1-chap1-p01-p24.htm#106. Retrieved 2009-09-03. [dead link]
  15. ^ "Rule 201, Chapter 2". INDIAN RAILWAY ESTABLISHMENT CODE (Vol - I). Indian Railways. http://www.indianrailways.gov.in/FinanceCode/est-code-I/estbl-vol1-chap2-p01-p23.htm#201. Retrieved 2009-09-03. [dead link]
  16. ^ "Rule 109, Chapter 1". Indian Railways Establishment Manual Volume-I. Indian Railways. http://www.indianrailways.gov.in/financecode/est-manual-I/IREM-Ch1_Data.htm#109. Retrieved 2009-09-03. [dead link]
  17. ^ a b compiled and edited by Research, Reference and Training Division. (2010). India Yearbook 2010. Publications Division, Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, Govt. of India. p. 961. ISBN 81 230 1557 7. 
  18. ^ "Toy Trains Of India". Our Trips - Royal Train Tours. India Calling Tours (P) Limited. http://www.triptoindia.com/toy-trains-of-india-royal-train-tours-of-india-calling-tours-trip-to-india.html. Retrieved 2007-05-12. 
  19. ^ "General Information". Central Organisation for Railway Electrification. Ministry of Railways, Government of India. http://www.core.railnet.gov.in/general/general1.htm. Retrieved 2009-07-18. [dead link]
  20. ^ "Historical Background of Railway electrification". Central Organisation for Railway Electrification. Ministry of Railways, Government of India. http://www.core.railnet.gov.in/general/Brief%20on%20RE.htm. Retrieved 2009-07-18. [dead link]
  21. ^ a b c "Electric Traction - I". IRFCA.org. Indian Railways Fan Club. http://www.irfca.org/faq/faq-elec.html. Retrieved 2007-06-19. 
  22. ^ "Reservation Rules". Indian Railways. 2008. http://www.indianrail.gov.in/resrules.html. Retrieved 2009-01-05. [dead link]
  23. ^ a b "General Information on travelling by IR". IRFCA.org. Indian Railways Fan Club. http://www.irfca.org/faq/faq-travel.html. Retrieved 2007-06-03. 
  24. ^ "Class of Travel". indiarail.co.uk. S.D.Enterprises Ltd. http://www.indiarail.co.uk/indrail.htm. Retrieved 2007-06-03. 
  25. ^ "Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (formerly Victoria Terminus)". World Heritage List. World Heritage Committee. 2004. http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/945. Retrieved 2009-01-05. 
  26. ^ "Mountain Railways of India". World Heritage List. World Heritage Committee. 1999. http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/944/. Retrieved 2009-01-05. 
  27. ^ "100 years of pine-scented travel". http://www.tribuneindia.com/2003/20031108/windows/main1.htm. Retrieved 2009-02-14. 
  28. ^ "Hill trains". Archived from the original on 2008-08-22. http://web.archive.org/web/20080822150546/http://www.indianrail.gov.in/dm_hill.html. Retrieved 2009-02-14. 
  29. ^ "'Duronto' trains will be faster than Rajdhani". Indian Express. 2009-07-03. http://www.indianexpress.com/news/duronto-train-services-for-major-cities/484594/. Retrieved 2009-07-03. 
  30. ^ "On the right track". Rediff.com. http://www.rediff.com/search/2003/jul/29train.htm. Retrieved 2009-02-14. 
  31. ^ "Visitation to Travel Sites in India Surges 50 Percent in Past Year". comScore.com. http://www.comscore.com/Press_Events/Press_Releases/2010/6/Visitation_to_Travel_Sites_in_India_Surges_50_Percent. Retrieved 2010-06-12. 
  32. ^ "Strategy of Indian Railways During the Eleventh Five Year Plan". Government of India. 2007-2008. http://indiabudget.nic.in/es2007-08/chapt2008/chap93.pdf. Retrieved 2010-09-18. 
  33. ^ "Report of the Task Force: The Delhi-Mumbai & Delhi-Howrah Freight Corridors". Planning Commission, Government of India. 2007-2008. http://infrastructure.gov.in/pdf/Freight_Corridor.pdf. Retrieved 2010-09-18. 
  34. ^ "Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India Ltd.". Ministry of Railways, Government of India. 2009. http://dfccil.org/wps/portal/DFCCPortal. Retrieved 2010-09-18. 
  35. ^ "Statistical Summary-Indian Railways". 2006-02-23. Archived from the original on 2008-03-28. http://web.archive.org/web/20080328185125/http://www.indianrail.gov.in/summary06.htm. Retrieved 2008-04-08. 
  36. ^ Arun Kumar Das. "Indian Railway takes the E-route". Online edition of the Times of India, dated 2005-06-19. http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/1146548.cms. Retrieved 2008-12-10. 
  37. ^ "Pay panel award to cost Rlys  13,600 crore (US$3.1 billion)". The Hindu Business Line. 2009-02-14. http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/2009/02/14/stories/2009021451801500.htm. Retrieved 2009-09-02. 
  38. ^ Paul Theroux, Ghost Train to the Eastern Star: On the Tracks of the Great Railway Bazaar, P.156 (First Mariner Books 2008). 
  39. ^ "Railways take measures to prevent accidents". Press Information Bureau. 2009-08-06. http://pib.nic.in/release/release.asp?relid=51548. Retrieved 2009-08-08. 
  40. ^ a b c Amulya Gopalakrishnan (2003-07-19). "A poor track record". Frontline. http://www.frontlineonnet.com/fl2015/stories/20030801006911900.htm. Retrieved 2008-12-10. 
  41. ^ a b Sanjeev Srivastava (2002-04-16). "Indian rail marks 150th anniversary". BBC. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/1931229.stm. 
  42. ^ "PM clears 17,000 cr. fund to modernise Rlys.". The Hindu. 2001-07-03. http://www.hindu.com/2001/07/03/stories/0203000j.htm. Retrieved 2009-09-03. 
  43. ^ "10-year Corporate Safety Plan for rlys.". The Hindu. 2003-08-20. http://www.hinduonnet.com/2003/08/20/stories/2003082003231300.htm. Retrieved 2009-09-03. 
  44. ^ "Indian Railways Signalling Systems". http://www.irfca.org/faq/faq-signal.html. Retrieved 2009-02-14. 
  45. ^ a b c "HIGHLIGHTS OF RAILWAY BUDGET 2008-09". Official webpage of Indian Railways. http://www.indianrailways.gov.in/budget-0809/HIGHLIGHTS-0809-ENG.PDF. Retrieved 2008-12-13. [dead link]
  46. ^ "Business Travel Still On Track - Cover Story - FE Business Traveller". Businesstravellerindia.com. http://www.businesstravellerindia.com/200603/coverstory01.shtml. Retrieved 2008-11-11. 
  47. ^ "Railways to modernise six stations". The Economic Times. 2007-09-04. http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/Railways/Railways_to_modernise_six_stations/articleshow/2336488.cms. Retrieved 2009-09-02. 
  48. ^ "WiFi In Trains Piloted On Shatabdi Express; Music Downloads, Movies On Demand?". MediaNama.com. http://www.medianama.com/2009/01/223-wifi-in-trains-piloted-on-shatabdi-express-music-downloads-movies-on-demand/. Retrieved 2009-11-13. 
  49. ^ Dinesh Trivedi (2007-02-27). "It's a great waste of potential & possibilities". The Telegraph. http://www.telegraphindia.com/1070227/asp/business/story_7446475.asp. Retrieved 2009-09-02. 
  50. ^ "On the right track". Forbes. http://www.forbes.com/global/2008/1027/024a.html. Retrieved 2009-06-28. 

References

External links


Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

The Indian Railways is India's state-owned railways, operating since 1853.

Sourced

  • "Though the initial proposal for building railways in India was mooted in 1844 by East Indian Railway and subsequently by GIPR the actual nod from rulers in Britain came many years later. By 1840s the East India Company was fast losing its grip over control of India and many more agents had already started operating in India with governmental support. The dominant group was determined to hold on to remaining power of appointments in India as long as they could. The directors of East India company were more than properly cautious and British government consulted any matter relating to India with the group. The proposals were pushed aside in the beginning but by the time they realised and were eager to do business with the railway companies, the 1847-49 depression had hit England and it was very difficult to raise funds. It was at this juncture that the promoters insisted that the government must put the new railway companies in a position to guarantee the railway stockholders an annual return. The promoters were able to mobilise London merchants aspiring exports and imports to and from large Indian market and finally in 1849, East India Company signed contract and gave the railway companies better term than they had originally asked in 1844. The contract provided in essence that , private companies would raise the funds for the railways and manage their operations, while the Government of India would excercise high-level supervision of railway policy and guarantee the private companies against risk of loss"
    • Daniel Thorner's article in Railways in Modern India edited by Ian J. Kerr
  • "No one can safely say whether railways in this country will earn or not"
    • Governor-General of India Lord Dalhousie

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