Railways are the lifeline of transportation in India. The foundation of the railways in India was laid by the Britishers in the 19th century. Indian Railways is currently the world’s fourth largest railway network in the world with evidently huge setup and numerous branches. It has its own dedicated ministry and budget. Bullet trains will be introduced in India in August 2022.
To know more about some interesting facts about the Indian Railways, read on –
1. Railways are the lifeline of India and operate electric-locomotive, diesel-locomotive and passenger-coaches. Indian Railways network consists of freight passengers, suburban railway systems, tourist trains, luxury trains, and toy trains.
2. Indian Railways has its own mascot named “Bholu”, the guard elephant, which was designed by the National Institute of Design. It was broadcasted on April 16, 2002.
3. The first train in India ran from Mumbai (Bombay) to Thane on April 16, 1853. The first railroad was constructed by two Indians named Jamsetjee Jeejeebhoy and Jagnath Shunkerseth.
4. Indian Railways is one of the largest employers in the world with over 1.4 million employees.
5. The Railways carries more than 25 million passengers every day, which is more than the entire population of Australia.
6. The New Delhi Railway Station has secured a place in the Guinness Book of Records for being the largest route relay interlocking system in the world.
7. Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh has the longest platform in the world with a length of 1366.33 metres.
8. Currently, there are total 7, 349 stations in India. Also, there are 16 zones over a route of 65,808 km with 7,112 stations.
9. India has five luxury trains namely – Royal Rajasthan on Wheels, Palace on Wheels, The Golden Chariot, The Deccan Odyssey, and the Maharaja Express. Palace on Wheels is the oldest one and the Maharaja Express is the most expensive. These luxury hold an eminent position amongst the luxury trains in the world.
10. Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus and the Indian Mountain Railways (which consists of Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, Nilgiri Mountain Railway in Tamil Nadu, the Kalka-Shimla Railway, a narrow gauge railway in West Bengal and a narrow gauge railway in the Shivalik mountains in Himachal Pradesh) are the two historical railway elements which have been considered as the UNESCO world heritage site.
11. The railways have a 94% operating ratio which means it spends 94 paise on every rupee it earns.
12. The first underground railway station was built in Kolkata in 1984.
13. The first passenger train in India ran on 15th August 1854 from Howrah to Hoogly.
14. The computerised passenger reservation system was introduced in India in 1986.
15. The longest train journey covered by any Indian train is of 4233 kilometres by the Vivek Express. With a total running time of 80 hours and 15 minutes with nearly 55 scheduled stops, the Vivek Express covers the longest train journey in India. It passes through 8 states of the country.
16. Indian Railways is a monopoly and is owned by the Government of India.
17. Mamata Banerjee was the first female to become a Railway Minister in 2000. Also, in 2002 she became the first female minister to present the Railway Budget.
18. The fastest train on the Indian railways network is the New Delhi-Bhopal Shatabdi which reaches the maximum speed of 150 kmph on the Faridabad-Agra section.
19. The slowest train is the Mettupalayam-Ooty Nilgiri Passenger train which runs from Mettupalayam to Ooty at an average speed of 10 kmph.
20. Indian Railways is currently constructing a bridge which will be the highest railway bridge. It will be five times the height of Qutub Minar and 35 metres taller than the Eiffel Tower of Paris. The bridge will be made 359 metres over Chenab.
21. The longest Railway tunnel in the country is 11.2 km long which is Pir Panjal bridge that links Kashmir Valley with Banihal in Jammu.
22. Toilets in the trains of Indian Railways were first introduced in 1909, around fifty years after the establishment of Railways.
23. The station with the shortest name is “Ib” in Odisha and the station with the longest name is Venkatanarasimharajuvariipeta which is sometimes spelled with “Sri” prefix.
24. “The Fairy Queen” is that the oldest operate external-combustion engine within the world plying between national capital and Alwar in Rajasthan. The engine has been listed in the Guinness Book of World Records. Also, it has received the Heritage Award from the International Tourist Bureau of Berlin.
25. There are total 6 Rail Museums in India. They are –
Chennai Rail Museum, Chennai
Joshi’s Museum of Miniature Railway, Pune
National Rail Museum, New Delhi
Railway Heritage Centre, Tiruchirappalli
Railway Museum, Mysore
Rewari Railway Heritage Museum
26. The Rail Museum in Delhi is the largest in India and also in Asia which has both working and non-working models.
27. Most of the Indians prefer Rajdhani Express for travelling i,e it gets the highest priority in the Railway network.
28. Howrah junction is the busiest railway station in India which has the train frequency of 974.
29. There is a diamond crossing in Nagpur from where trains can go North, East, West, and South. The crossing is one of its kind.
30. The maximum number of routes emerge from the Mathura Junction.
31. The highest Railway Station in India is the Ghum Railway Station of the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway.