Indian Railways

Indian Railways (IR) is a statutory body under the jurisdiction of Ministry of Railways, Government of India that operates India's national railway system.[6] It manages the fourth-largest railway network in the world by size, with a route length of 67,956 km (42,226 mi) as of 31 March 2020. 45,881 km (28,509 mi) or 71% of all the broad-gauge routes are electrified with 25 kV 50 Hz AC electric traction as of 1 April 2021.[4][5]

Indian Railways
TypeStatutory Body
IndustryRail transport
Founded6 May 1836 (185 years ago) (1836-05-06)[1]
Area served
Key people
ServicesPassenger railways
Freight services
Parcel carrier
Catering and tourism services
Parking lot operations
Other related services
Revenue 146,609 crore (US$19 billion)[3] (2020-21)
2,800 crore (US$370 million)[3] (2020-21)
OwnerMinistry of Railways, Government of India
Number of employees
12.54 lakh (1.254 million)[4] (2020)
Divisions18 zones
Railway network map of India - schematic
Reporting markIR
Dates of operation16 January 1838 (1838-01-16)[1]present
Track gauge1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in)
1,000 mm (3 ft 3+38 in)
762 mm (2 ft 6 in)
1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in)
Electrification45,881 kilometres (28,509 mi)[5]
as of 1 April 2021
Length67,956 kilometres (42,226 mi) (route)[4]
99,235 kilometres (61,662 mi) (running track)[4]
126,366 kilometres (78,520 mi) (total track)[4]
as of 31 March 2020

In the fiscal year ending March 2020, Indian Railways carried 808.6 crore (8.086 billion) passengers and transported 121.23 crore (1.2123 billion) tonnes of freight.[4] It runs 1 lakh (100,000) passenger trains daily, on both long-distance and suburban routes, covering 7,325 stations across India.[4] Mail or Express trains, the most common types of trains, run at an average speed of 50.6 km/h (31.4 mph). Suburban EMUs run at an average speed of 37.5 km/h (23.3 mph). Ordinary passenger trains (incl. mixed) run at an average speed of 33.5 km/h (20.8 mph).[4] The maximum speed of passenger trains varies, with the Gatimaan Express running at a peak speed of 160 km/h (99 mph).

In the freight segment, IR runs 8,479 trains daily.[4] The average speed of freight trains is around 24 km/h (15 mph). The maximum speed of freight trains varies from 60–75 km/h (37–47 mph) depending on their axle load with 'container special' trains running at a peak speed of 100 km/h (62 mph).

As of March 2020, Indian Railways' rolling stock consisted of 2,93,077 freight wagons, 76,608 passenger coaches and 12,729 locomotives.[4] IR owns locomotive and coach-production facilities at several locations in India. It had 1.254 million employees as of March 2020, making it the world's eighth-largest employer.[4] The government has committed to electrifying India's entire rail network by 2023–24, and become a "net zero (carbon emissions) railway" by 2030.[7]