Indianrailways, which is the lifeline of people in the country, is a reflection of its culture. Introduced in 1853, with the first journey taking between Thane and Mumbai, Indian Railways has outgrown to be the largest rail network in Asia and the fourth largest in the world. It is also the fourth largest in the number of employees, which is about 1.4 million. During the initial stages of inception, there was not much development in the railways, but after India got independence the government took over the charge of railways and now it is under the supervision of Railway Ministry.
There are two World Heritage sites on Indian railways, the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus and the Mountain Railways. The railway has many notable trains to add to its credit. Kalka-Shimla Railway is a narrow gauge railway in Himachal Pradesh which has found entry in the Guinness Book of World Records due to its steep rise in altitude. Another one, Maharaja Railways has the longest narrow gauge railway line in the world, covering a length of 198 km from Gwalior to Sheopur. The Palace on Wheels is the other train specially designed to boost foreign tourism in Rajasthan. Kharagpur is the longest platform in the world, the length being 1,072 meters and Trivandrum Rajdhani is the longest nonstop train travelling a distance of 528 km.
The railway has also introduced Double Decker trains in India. The first one to be introduced was in 2005, and the first Double Decker AC train was introduced in November 2010, running between Howrah and Dhanbad. , which has 10 coaches and two power cars.
Indian railway is divided into 17 zones and each zone is headed by a General Manager. Under GM are the various divisional officers and at the end of the line comes the Station Master, who is in charge of an entire station. Each zone is further divided with headquarters at each zone.
Both long-distance and suburban trains are run by Indian railways. The long-distance trains are usually fast and have fewer stops. They have sleeper classes which provide berths to the passengers to allow them to sleep during the night time. The suburban trains are slow and have more stops.
The train tickets are booked online and it was introduced recently. You can book your tickets by logging into the website of IRCTC, which has been of great benefit to the passengers. The website also offers other facilities like checking the train schedule, seat availability and prices of tickets, in addition to checking the PNR status of tickets and cancellation of tickets online.
Indianrailways presents a railway budget every year, and it contains many suggestions to improve the quality and service of the railway, the plans to introduce new trains and to provide more benefits to the passengers.
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