Railways were first introduced to India by the Great Indian Peninsula Railway (GIPR) in 1853 from Bombay to Thane. The East Indian Railway Company was established 1 June 1845 in London by a deed of settlement with a capital of £4,000,000, primarily raised in London. The Great Southern India Railway Company was founded in Britain in 1853 and registered in 1859. Construction of track in Madras Presidency began in 1859, and the 80-mile link from Trichinopoly (Tiruchirappalli) to Negapatam (Nagapattinam) opened in 1861. The Carnatic Railway founded in 1864, opened a Madras-Arakkonam-Kancheepuram line in 1865. The Great Southern India Railway Company was subsequently merged with the Carnatic Railway Company in 1874 to form the South Indian Railway Company.
In 1951 the systems were nationalised as one unit as the Indian Railways, becoming one of the largest networks in the world.
As of 2016, it is now fourth largest rail network in the world comprising 119,630 kilometres (74,330 miles) of the entire track and 92,081 km (57,216 mi) of running track over a route of 66,687 km (41,437 miles) with 7,216 stations. The railways carried 8.107 billion passengers annually or more than 22 million passengers a day and 1.101 billion tonnes of freight annually. It is the world’s eighth biggest employer and had 1.331 million employees.
UNESCO World Heritage Sites
There are two UNESCO World Heritage Sites on Indian Railways.
Nilgiri Mountain Railway, a 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 3⁄8 in) metre gauge railway in the Nilgiri Hills in Tamil Nadu.
Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, a narrow gauge railway in West Bengal.
Kalka-Shimla Railway, a narrow gauge railway in the Shivalik Mountains in Himachal Pradesh. In 2003 the railway was featured in the Guinness Book of World Records for offering the steepest rise in altitude in the space of 96 kilometres.
Subscribe to Sulthan Academy for more updates. Leave your comment below.