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Introduced as early as 1853, Indian Railways has grown into one of the largest Railway network in the world. The network spread and expanded rapidly and has become the principal mode of transport in the country. The Railways have also been modernized in terms of technology, ticketing, computerization and over all management. This effort has been in tune with the requirement of moving large volumes of passengers and freight traffic.

Indian Railway network is spread over 81,511 Km covering 6,896 stations. Operating on three gauges - broad gauge (1676 mm) meter gauge (1000 mm) and narrow gauge (762 and 610 mm), trains in India carry more than 12 million passengers and more than a million tons of freight every day during the year 1998-99. Broad gauge although forming 64.5 per cent of the route, generated 96 per cent of freight output and 89.6 per cent of the passenger output during 1998-99. Almost all the double/multiple track sections and electrified routes lie on broad gauge. 14,579 route kms constituting over 19.5 per cent of the total network and 30 per cent of broad gauge network on Indian Railway is electrified. This carries approx. 41 per cent of the passenger traffic and 52 per cent of the freight traffic on Indian Railways. 

Indian Railways has nearly 1,21,699 bridges of which 10799 are major bridges. In 1998-99, 384 bridges were rebuilt or rehabilitated and 270 strengthened or re-girdered. The transport effort is sustained through the use of 7429 locomotives, 2,53,186 wagons and 40,775 coaching vehicles. 1,56,846 telephone exchange lines, 18,445 long haul MT Kms., 1,730 optical fiber communication route Kms and over 8,54,613 trunk tele channels Kms distinguishes Indian Railway telecom network. 

Indian Railway system has developed a capacity to carry 441.58 million tons of originating revenue earning traffic which in terms of transport output is 284.27 billion NTKms (net tonne kilometers). During 1998-99 the revenue earning freight traffic moved by Railways was 420.9 million tons growing at the rate of 7%. The total passenger traffic in the year 1998-99 was 4411 million tons.

NETWORK OF RAILWAYS- 1998-99
GAUGE ROUTE (km) RUNNING TRACK(km) TOTAL TRACK (km)
Broad 44,220 62,180 1,06,400
Meter 15,180 15,880 31,060
Narrow 3,410 3,450 6,860
TOTAL 62,810 81,510 1,44,320

 

ZONAL DISTRIBUTION OF ROUTE KILOMETERS
ZONES ROUTE KM.
CENTRAL 7,047
EASTERN 4,318
NORTHERN 11,004
NORTH EASTERN 5,107
NORTH EAST FRONTIER 3,816
SOUTHERN 7,049
SOUTH CENTRAL 7,203
SOUTH EASTERN 7,351
WESTERN 10,020
TOTAL 62,915

 

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