The rail journey in India came into existence in the year 1853 with the first train running 21 miles from Mumbai to Thane with 14 railway coaches along with 400 honored guests. Ever since Indian Railways has progressed drastically and today it is the vital means of transport carrying over 30 million passengers and 3 million tons of freight across the country every day.
The rail network of India is one of the largest and busiest in the world. Nearly 10000 trains are running on a daily basis to connect twenty eight states and two union territories. The rail connectivity to the capital cities of the North East states of Sikkim, Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh are progressing and in the coming years, we can see a full-fledged connectivity to every part of the country. The complex network of the railway is managed by dividing them into different zones and sub-divided into divisions.
Today the railway has seventeen zones and sixty eight divisions, which link to the urban and rural areas of the nation. It operates on a multi-gauge system: broad, narrow and meter gauges. It is the world's largest commercial employer with over 1.5 million employees. Besides the long distance trains, many cities have the suburban rail network that serve the commuters.
The trains offer different classes of travel: the First Class AC, Air conditioned coaches which are 2-tier or 3-tier, First Class, the Sleeper class, AC Chaircar/ Seater Class and General or unreserved. The fare list varies according to the facilities provided. Trains are the most reliable and fastest means of transport at affordable rates. Some of the fastest trains in India are the Shatabdi Express, Rajdhani Express and Duronto Express that compete with the low cost airlines of the country. Every year railway takes up safety measures and introduces new trains in different regions to accommodate the growing number of passengers. The rail journeys are ever exciting and are truly an experience of rich tradition and culture of India.
Almost 70% of the income for railway is contributed by the freight sector. It transports all kinds of goods like the fertilizers, petrochemicals, agricultural produce, mineral ores and many more. It also transports vehicles to long distances.
Indian Railways has been extremely successful in contributing to the growth in the tourism sector. It has been an overwhelming host to all the visitors. The luxurious trains in India are Deccan Odyssey, Maharaja Express, Palace on Wheels, The Golden Chariot, Royal Orient Train, Royal Rajasthan on Wheels and Fairy Queen, which is the pride of India and holds a record for being the oldest working locomotive in the world. You can expect an amazing royal treat on board with a blend of Indian heritage and hospitality. The best way to explore incredible India is by a rail journey.
The Indian Railways network is the largest rail network in Asia and the second largest in the world under one management. On Indian railways seat availability can be ensured by planning and booking your tickets early especially in the vacation seasons.