▪ Indian Railways are a crucial mode of transportation for the common people in India, as it is the largest Departmental Undertaking in the country. It is a significant employer, with over 1.254 million employees, making it the world’s eighth-largest employment generator, as per records from March 2020.
▪ It is also the biggest rail network in Asia and the fourth largest in the world, with a route of 67,368 km (41,861 mi) and 7,325 stations, spanning over 126,366 km (78,520 mi) of the track.
▪ Indian Railways operate in 19 zones across India, each of which is further divided into 70 divisions with their respective Divisional Headquarters.
▪ In this article, we will explore some interesting facts about the railway division in India, a list of railway zones in India, railway zones, and headquarters. This information is relevant from an examination perspective and can be helpful to anyone looking to gain knowledge about Indian Railways.
How Many Railway Zones in India?
▪ Currently There are a total of 19 zones (including Metro Railway, Kolkata) and 70 Divisions in the Indian Railway System.
▪ The entire operations of Indian Railways are divided into zones. Each zone is further divided into sub-divisions. Each Division has a divisional headquarters.
▪ South Coast Railway zone is the newest zone in India.
▪ Visakhapatnam is the regional headquarters of the South Coast Railway zone.
History of Railway Zones in India
• Until 2003 there were only 9 Railway zones in India.
• In 2002-03, 7 new railway zones were created, giving a total of 16.
• In 2010, Kolkata Metro Railway was given the status of 17th zone of Indian Railways.
• Additionally, the Konkan Railway has the administrative status of a zone of Indian Railways but is not generally considered a zone for operational purposes.
• In February 2019, South Coast Railway Zone (SCoR) has been announced as the newest railway zone of the Indian Railways.
List of 19 Railway Zones in India and their Headquarters
|Sl.No||Railway Zone||Headquarters||Railway Divisions|
|1.||Central Railway (C.R.)||Mumbai CSMT (Chatrapati Shivaji Termi)||Mumbai, Bhusawal, Pune, Solapur, Nagpur CR|
|2.||Southern Railway (SR)||Chennai Central||Chennai, Tiruchirappalli, Madurai, Palakkad, Salem, Thiruvananthapuram|
|3.||Northern Railway (N.R.)||New Delhi||Delhi, Ambala, Firozpur, Lucknow NR, Moradabad|
|4.||Western Railway (WR)||Church Gate, Mumbai||Mumbai WR, Ratlam, Ahmedabad, Rajkot, Bhavnagar, Vadodara|
|5.||Eastern Railway (ER)||Kolkata||Howrah, Sealdah, Asansol, Malda|
|6.||South-Eastern Railway (SER)||Garden Reach, Kolkata||Adra, Chakradharpur, Kharagpur, Ranchi|
|7.||Kolkata Metro Railway||Kolkata||Not Applicable|
|8.||South-Central Railway (SCR)||Secunderabad||Secunderabad, Hyderabad, Nanded|
|9.||North-East Frontier Railway (NEFR)||Maligaon (Guwahati)||Alipurduar, Katihar, Rangiya, Lumding, Tinsukia|
|10.||North-Eastern Railway (NER)||Gorakhpur||Izzatnagar, Lucknow NER, Varanasi|
|11.||East-Central Railway (ECR)||Hazipur||Danapur, Dhanbad, Pt Deen Dayal Upadhyaya, Samastipur, Sonpur|
|12.||North-Western Railway (NWR)||Jaipur||Jaipur, Ajmer, Bikaner, Jodhpur|
|13.||East-Coast Railway (ECoR)||Bhubaneshwar||Khurda Road, Sambalpur, Rayagada|
|14.||North-Central Railway (NCR)||Prayagraj (Allahabad)||Prayagraj, Agra, Jhansi|
|15.||South-Western Railway (SWR)||Hubli||Hubballi, Bengaluru, Mysuru|
|16.||West-Central Railway (WCR)||Jabalpur||Jabalpur, Bhopal, Kota|
|17.||South-East Central Railway (SECR)||Bilaspur||Bilaspur, Raipur, Nagpur SEC|
|18.||Southern Coast Railway (SCoR)||Visakhapatnam||Waltair, Vijayawada, Guntur, Guntakal|
|19.||Konkan Railway (KR)||Navi Mumbai||Karwar, Ratnagiri|
Facts about the Railway Zones in India
• Kolkata has the largest number of railway zones in India.
• Kolkata is the headquarters of the Eastern Zone, South Eastern Zone, and Metro Railway zone Kolkata.
• Northern Railway Zone is the largest railway zone in India.
• Metro Railway, Kolkata became the 17th zone of the Indian Railways.
• Southern Railway zone is the oldest railway zone (created on 14 April 1951) in India.
• South Coast Railway Zone (18th) is the new railway zone of India.
Most Important Questions about Railway Zones in India
Total Railway Zones in India 2023?
▪ Answer: 19 (As of 2023)
The total number of railway zones in India till 2023 is 19. These regions are divided into 70 divisions with respective divisional headquarters.
Which is the largest rail network in the world?
▪ Answer: United States
The United States has the biggest Rail network in the world followed by Russia, China, and India
When did the first Metro rail come into existence?
▪ Answer: 24 October 1924
The first metro rail in India began in Calcutta, West Bengal. It is known as the Calcutta Metro, now called the Kolkata Metro, and it commenced operations on October 24, 1984.
Who presented the first rail budget of Independent India?
▪ Answer: John Mathai
The first Railway budget for independent India was presented by John Mathai on November 1947. He was the second finance minister of India from 1949-51.
Which Railway Zone is the biggest in India?
▪ Answer: Northern Railway Zone
The Northern Railway Zone is the largest in India with 6968 km of route. The Northern Railway (NR) is headquartered at Baroda House in New Delhi, India. It is divided into five divisions, namely Delhi, Ambala, Firozpur, Lucknow NR, and Moradabad.
Who is the Head of Railway Divisions?
▪ Answer: Divisional Railway Manager (DRM)
The Railway division is headed by a Divisional Railway Manager (DRM) and he reports to the General Manager of that railway zone.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Answer: 19 (Including Konkan and Kolkata Metro Railway Zone)
Answer: Southern Railway
Answer: Northern Railways
Answer: Kolkata (3 Railway zones)
Answer: South Coast Railway Zone
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