Indian Railways – the lifeline of the transport system in our country is evidently a massive setup, and an organization with numerous branches. With a separate ministry and budget in its name, railways help large portions of the country’s population in running their daily businesses successfully. One the most important things to check after you have reserved to experience the railways is the PNR status.
Some of the amazing facts about the railways are:
1.Indian Railways is the largest railways network to be operated by a single government and is the world’s third-largest network with a total length of 127,760 kms.
2. The annual ridership is 8,421 million passengers on almost 10000 trains connecting around 7200 stations across the country. The daily number of passengers on the railways is larger than the population of some countries. It also carries over a billion tons of freight annually.
3. Indian Railways-owned the longest railway platform in the world at Kharagpur with a length of 2,733 feet. Now, breaking the record, Gorakhpur station has recently taken its place with a span of 4,430 feet.
The Indian Railways has a mark in UNESCO’ World Heritage site list – the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, and the Indian Mountain Railways.
The Indian Mountain Railways includes three railways – the Darjeeling Himalayan Railways, Nilgiri Mountain Railways and Kalka Shimla Railway. All three trains have been functional for some 100 years. The Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus is a classic fusion of Gothic art with Indian architecture.
4. Indian Railways has five luxury trains.
- Royal Rajasthan on Wheels,
- Palace on Wheels (Rajasthan),
- The Golden Chariot (Karnataka and Goa),
- The Maharajas’ Express (begins in Delhi but the itinerary differs) and
- The Deccan Odyssey (starts in Maharashtra but agenda differs).
- They are the crown of Indian Railways.
5. The Vivek Express (Dibrugarh to Kanyakumari) travels a distance of 4273 km, which is the longest train route in the railways. The shortest route is just 3km and is taken by a few scheduled services between Nagpur and Ajni.
6. The suspension of the coaches is designed trying to keep the resonance frequency as near as possible to 72 bpm or 1.2 Hz when designing. The human body is most comfortable at 1.2 Hz frequency as it’s one of the principal frequencies of our bodies (normal heartbeat) – which is why people sleep soundly in trains.
7. The railways function on an operating ratio of 94%, that is, it spends 94 paise on every rupee that it earns.The amount of Rs. 4 saved from every Rs. 100 earned is minuscule, and the revenues of the railways have been suffering because of the negligible revision of prices.
8. The diamond crossing (dubbed so by railways themselves), in Nagpur, is one-of-its-kind, from where trains go East, West, North and South.
9. The Indian Railways is constructing the world’s highest rail bridge over Chenab.
10. The Howrah junction in Kolkata is the busiest junction in the country with over 974 trains stopping here every day
11. Did you know that all the electrical appliances in the train such as fan and light operate at 110V instead of the standard 220V? This has been a very useful countermeasure against thieves.
12. The mascot for Indian Railways is Bholu, or Bholu the guard elephant, which was designed by National Institute of Design. It was unveiled on 16th April 2002.
13. The oldest working Indian locomotive still in use is the Fairy Queen, which worked with a steam engine. It was built in 1855. It was re-launched in 1997 after a break from 1909. It operates as a tourist train between Delhi and Alwar. It travels at a speed 40 km/h.
14. The Indian Railways, with a total of 1.4 million employees, is the world’s eighth largest employer.
15. Indian Railways launched an awareness campaign train on World AIDS Day, December 1, 2007, called the Red Ribbon Express.