Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Indian Railways

Indian Railways (IR) is an Indian state-owned railway enterprise, owned and operated by the Government of India through the Ministry of Railways. It is one of the world's largest railway networks comprising a total of 114,500 kilometres (71,147 mi) of track over a route of 65,000 kilometres (40,389 mi) and 7,500 stations. IR carries over 30 million passengers and 2.8 million tons of freight daily. In 2011-2012 Railway earned INR104,278.79 crore (US$18.87 billion) which consists of INR69,675.97 crore (US$12.61 billion) from freight and INR28,645.52 crore (US$5.18 billion) from passengers tickets.

Railways were first introduced to India in 1853 from Bombay to Thane. In 1951 the systems were nationalized as one unit, the Indian Railways, becoming one of the largest networks in the world. 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 at several places in India and are assigned codes identifying their gauge, kind of power and type of operation. Its operations cover twenty eight states and three union territories and also provides limited international services to Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan and in future, Bhutan and Myanmar.
Indian Railways is the world's fourth largest commercial or utility employer, by number of employees, with over 1.4 million employees. As for rolling stock, IR holds over 229,381 Freight Wagons, 59,713 Passenger Coaches and 9,213 Locomotives. The Indian railways has proposed to build the highest railway track in the world overtaking the current record of the Beijing-Lhasa Railway line. The railways had deployed a 5 digit numbering system on 20 December 2010 due to the fact that the Indian Railways runs 10,000 trains daily. In 31 March 2011, 21,014 kilometres (13,057 mi) of the total 64,215 kilometres (39,901 mi) km route length is electrified (33%). Since 1960, almost all electrified sections on IR use 25,000 V AC traction through overhead catenary delivery.

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