Indian Railways

20 Amazing Facts About Indian Railways

We, Indians, are so fascinated with our railway’s transport system. The Indian Railway network doesn’t only connect different locations, but it touches our hearts beyond any race, religion, caste, gender, or class. The tangled railway lines unite Indians in one thread. It perfectly represents the vision of our constitution makers that says there should be no discrimination on anyone’s background. 


Railways carry all of us, give us space to know more about others, know nature and explore different places. But do you know the carrier of people and freight is also loaded with amazing facts? You will be surprised to learn that more than 1.3 million IRCTC train tickets are booked daily and thousands of passengers check their PNR status every second. These facts will make you feel proud of your favourite transport mode. 


Here are some interesting facts about the Indian Railways 



1. 169 Years Old Heritage


The Indian railways came into existence long back in 1853 on 16 April. Its first passenger train ran between Mumbai’s Bori Bandar to Thane, covering 34 kilometres. The train was operated by three locomotives called Sahib, Sultan and Sindh. The train had 30 wagons. 



2. Indian Railways Has Its Mascot


It is fascinating that the railway has its ‘Shubhankar’ named Bholu. Bholu, an elephant dressed as a railway guard, was created in 2002 by the National Institute of Design on the 150th anniversary of railways. Railways officially accepted this cheerful, ethical, responsible, sincere, and stable elephant artwork as its mascot in 2003. 



3. First Railway Workshop Established in Bihar


Did you know that the first railway workshop of the British government was established at Jamalpur, near Munger, Bihar? It was established before Indian independence in 1862. The place gradually turned into one of India’s important central industrial units, with iron and steel foundries, rolling mills, and more.



4. World’s 4th Largest Rail Network


With over 68 thousand kilometres, the Indian Railways is the world’s 4th largest railway network, followed by the US, China and Russia. As of now, it has over 45 thousand kilometres of the electrified rail network. Besides that, the railway is also the most significant rail route globally, operated by a single government. 



5. Railways Owns 4 UNESCO World Heritage Sites  


Indian Railways owns four UNESCO recognised world heritage sites. They are Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (inscribed in 1999), Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, Mumbai (inscribed in 2004), Nilgiri Mountain Railway (inscribed in 2005), and Kalka Shimla Railway (Inscribed in 2008). Soon, it may get the congruence for two more UNESCO sites, namely Matheran Light Railway and Kangra Valley Railway.



6. 34 Operational Rail Museums, Heritage Gallery, Art Gallery and Heritage Park


To showcase the vast history of the nation’s lifeline, Indian Railways have 34 operational and 3 under construction Rail Museums, Heritage Gallery, Art Gallery and Heritage Park in different cities of India. These sites preserve and promote rail tourism. Delhi Rail Museum is the first railway museum in India, also known as the National rail museum of India. 



7. Indian Railways Has World’s Longest Platform


India possesses the world’s longest platform, 1,366 metres in length, at the Gorakhpur Railway Station in Uttar Pradesh. However, this title of Gorakhpur station will soon be transferred to Hubli Junction Railway Station, Karnataka, officially known as Shri Siddharoodha Swamiji Railway Station, UBL. The under construction platform is 1,505 metres in length.  



8. Provides Luxurious Rides


Indian Railways proudly owns 5 royal trains named Royal Rajasthan on Wheels, Palace on Wheels, The Golden Chariot, The Maharajas’ Express and The Deccan Odyssey. Among them, the Palaces on Wheels is the oldest luxurious train. However, the tariff of these trains is not affordable for all. 



9. Longest and Shortest Train Ride


In India, you can take the longest train ride from Kanyakumari to Dibrugarh with Vivek Express. It covers 4189 kilometres with 56 stops in 82 hours and 30 minutes. Whereas, it is a fun fact that the shortest train ride in India can be taken from Nagpur to Ajni, covering only 3 kilometres. 



10. Indian Railways Has Two Different Stations at the Same Location


Isn’t it surprising that there are two railway stations at the exact location? But it is a fact about railways. In Ahmednagar, Srirampur and Belapur stations are located at the same spot but on opposite sides of the track. 



11. Maximum Number of Routes Emerges From Mathura Junction


Mathura Junction railway station, MTJ is one of the crucial railway stations because of its religious value and vast rail connectivity to different cities. At Mathura junction, 7 railway lines emerge, the maximum railway route from a single location. 



12. 94% Of Railway’s Earning Gets Spent for Operating It


Whatever Railways earn, it spends 94% on running trains and its smooth functioning. For example, if it earns 1 rupee, it spends 94 paise on operating trains. It is also a major concern for the Railway Ministry as it doesn’t save much of its earnings. 



13. Diamond Crossing of Indian Railways From Where Trains Go to East, West, North and South


In Nagpur, there is a diamond crossing; Railways itself has given this name to the crossing. Two railway tracks, going towards North-South and another two lines, going towards East-West making a square-like shape called diamond crossing. It is a widely used crossing; railway staff need to be attentive to operate it. 



14. World’s Highest Rail Bridge  


Indian Railway is constructing the world’s highest rail arch bridge with steel and concrete over the Chenab river. It is at the elevation of 1178 feet from the river. The bridge will connect the Bakkal and Kauri in the Reasi district of Jammu and Kashmir. 



15. Largest Employer in the Country


Railways employ approx 1.4 million people in India. It is a fact that the Indian Railway is one of the world’s largest employers’ companies and institutions. Apart from this direct employment, several people earn a livelihood through railways by selling goods and services at the stations and trains. E-catering and rail apps that provide rail services also generate job opportunities. One station One Product is another initiative to utilise the railway as a marketplace to boost people’s livelihood. 



16. Pir Pranjal Is India’s Longest Rail Tunnel


Did you know the longest rail tunnel in India is Pir Pranjal, located in the Pir Pranjal range of the middle Himalayas in Jammu Kashmir? It is 11.25 kilometres in length. The tunnel is part of the Jammu- Baramulla railway line. 



17. Howrah Junction Is the Busiest Railway Station


With the most number of platforms, Howrah Junction is the busiest railway station of Indian Railways. Its 23 platforms handle over 1 million passengers daily. Also, Howrah is the oldest railway station in India. 



18. Electrical Appliances Functions at 110 Volts in Rail Coaches


In India, household appliances operate at 220 volts, but electric appliances like bulbs, fans, and sockets function at 110 volts on the railway coaches. It helps the railway save its bulbs and fans from thieves as it becomes hard to convert 110 volts appliances into 220 volts.    



19. Resonance Frequency of the Suspension of Train Coaches Tweaked for Human Body


To match the human body’s frequency, while designing rail coaches, the resonance frequency of suspension is kept near 1.2 Hz or 72 bpm. It is the only reason one can also get sleep on a running train. 



20. Oldest Working Indian Locomotive Still in Use


Indian railways still use its oldest working Locomotive, Fairy Queen, for the ride. The locomotive works with a steam engine that runs as a tourist train between Delhi to Alwar. The train was built in 1885 and retired in 1909. In 1997, the Fairy Queen was relaunched. Presently, it travels at a speed of 40km/h.  


Knowing these facts about Indian Railways doesn’t seem like you knew railways better than before. So, why are you just reading it alone? Share this rail information with your friends and family members to let them know about the Indian rail a little more. 


Did you know these Facts About Indian Railways?


The slowest train in India is the Mettupalayam-Ooty Nilgiri passenger. It runs at an average of 10 kmph, whereas the fastest train is the Vande Bharat Express. This train is also known as Train 18 and runs at an average speed of 160 kmph. However, this train can reach a maximum speed of 180 kmph.


When Was Indian Railways Nationalised?


After independence, in 1951, Indian Railways was nationalised. Currently, it is Asia’s largest rail network.


Why Are the Railways So Important in India?


Indian railway is the lifeline loved by millions of people across the country. It plays a huge role in nation-building, whether economic or social. It is an affordable transport system that doesn’t only carry humans but also goods. Under the ownership of Railways, DFCCIL is also constructing the dedicated freight corridors to smoothen the function of Railways. In addition, the railway is also developing a Diamond quadrilateral for a high-speed rail network.


Railways also employ the highest number of people in India. Additionally, many people are connected to the rail services in India for travelling and earning their bread and butter. E-catering apps and rail service providers like RailRestro are allied to the Indian railways.  


RailMitra is an app and website that provides useful rail tools to help passengers check the 10 digit PNR status online, train time table, trains between different stations, seat availability, and updates on the latest rail news.


RailMitra assists travellers in planning their train journey calmly!

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