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25 interesting facts about the Indian Railways

Last updated on: July 07, 2014 10:52 IST

25 interesting facts about the Indian Railways

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The lifeline of the nation, the Indian Railways started its service 161 years ago on 16 April 1853. 

The Railways were first introduced in India in 1853 from Bombay to Thane.

After nationalisation in 1951, Indian Railways became one of the largest networks in the world. 

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Image: People travel in an overcrowded passenger train.
Photographs: Ajay Verma/Reuters
Tags: India , Bombay

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Today, Indian Railways is one of the world's largest railway networks with 115,000 kms of track over a route of 65,000 kms and 7,500 stations.

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Image: passenger train moves along the Jammu-Udhampur rail line on the outskirts of Jammu.
Photographs: Mukesh Gupta/Reuters
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The first passenger train in East India rolled out from Howrah station to Hooghly, a distance of 24 miles on August 15, 1854.

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Image: Howrah Station Terminal
Photographs: abymac/Wikimedia Commons

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India’s fastest train has successfully completed a trial run at 160 kms per hour.

From November and you can travel to Agra from Delhi by train in just 90 minutes, cutting the journey time by 30 minutes.

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Image: A high speed New Delhi Agra test train leaves New Delhi station.
Photographs: Shirish Shete/PTI

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The current fastest train was New Delhi-Bhopal Shatabdi Express with a maximum speed of 150km/hr on the Faridabad-Agra section.

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Image: New Delhi-Bhopal Shatabdi Express
Photographs: Ayushrocks6/Wikimedia Commons

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Metupalayam Ooty Nilgiri Passenger train is India’s slowest train, which runs at a speed of 10 kmph.

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Photographs: Stephan Niewolik/Wikimedia Commons

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The Indian Railways operates around 11,000 trains everyday, of which 7,000 are passenger trains.

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Image: People travel on a crowded passenger train in Lucknow.
Photographs: Pawan Kumar/Reuters
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The Delhi Main station has secured a place in the Guinness Book of Records for having the world’s largest route relay interlocking system.

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Photographs: Bruno Corpet /Wikimedia Commons

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Indian Railways is the world's ninth largest commercial employer, with over 1.4 million employees.

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Photographs: Shan.H.Fernandes /Wikimedia Commons
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With the platform length of 2,733 feet, the Indian Railways has the longest railway platform at Kharagpur in West Bengal.

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Photographs: Jer.dv/Wikimedia Commons

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Vembanad Rail Bridge in Kerala is the longest rail bridge in India covering a stretch of 4.62 km. 

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The longest tunnel is Karbude Tunnel in the Konkan Railway route, which covers a distance of 6.5 km.

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Vivek Express, which runs between Dibrugarh and Kanyakumari, has the longest route in India. It covers 4,286 km in about 82 hours and 30 minutes.

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Photographs: Abhinav Phangcho Choudhury /WikimediaCommons

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Howrah- Amritsar Express with 115 stops has the record for maximum number of stops by an Express/Mail train.

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Photographs: Navesh Chitrakar/Reuters

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The Indian Railway started computerised reservation in New Delhi in 1986.

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Image: A woman keeps her child on the ticket counter as she buys a train ticket.
Photographs: Navesh Chitrakar/Reuters
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The Railway has over 239,281 freight wagons, 59,713 passenger coaches and 9,549 locomotives. 

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India’s first sea bridge, the Pamban Bridge is a cantilever bridge on the Palk Strait connecting Rameswaram on Pamban Island in Tamil Nadu.

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Photographs: Tracy Hunter/Wikimedia Commons

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Adding to Railways accolades, the Darjeeling Himalayan Railways attained the World Heritage Status from UNESCO.

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Photographs: AHEMSLTD/Wikimedia Commons

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Fairy Queen, the oldest functioning steam engine in the world has been listed in the Guinness Book of World Records. It has also received the Heritage Award from the International Tourist Bureau, Berlin in March 2000.

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Image: The Fairy Queen engine, the world's oldest working locomotive.
Photographs: Vijay Mathur/Reuters

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The world’s highest rail bridge, Chenab Bridge is being constructed over Chenab river in Jammu & Kashmir. 

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The Indian Railways saw a 15 per cent increase in revenue in 2013-14, rising to Rs 1,40,485 crore, compared to Rs 1,21,831 crore last year.

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The total numbers of passenger bookings during 2013-14 stood at 8,535 million, compared to 8,602 million last year. 

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Image: Workers load mail onto a train at Nizamuddin Railway Station
Photographs: Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images
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The Indian Railways (IR) carries over 25 million passengers daily.

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Image: Commuters struggle to board a train at Noli railway station in Uttar Pradesh.
Photographs: Navesh Chitrakar/Reuters
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As of 31 March 2013, 23,541 km of the total 65,000 km route length is electrified.

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This year, the Railways introduced a mobile app system to track train schedules.

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Photographs: KALX999/Wikimedia Commons
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