Few facts about Indian Railways
1. First Railroad: The first railroad was constructed by two Indians (Jamsetjee Jeejeebhoy and Jaganath Shunkerseth) .
2. First train journey: This historic journey took place between Bombay and Thane, a distance of 34 kms. On 16th Apr 1853 at 3.30 PM 400 distinguished guests, boarded the train with 14 railway carriage which were hauled by three locomotives namely Sultan, Sindh and Sahib.The journey took 57 minutes, with a brief halt just beyond Sion for water.These three locomotives belonged to the batch of eight ordered from the Vulcan Foundry by the Great Indian Peninsular Railway (GIP) (now Central Railways) in 1852.
3. First Railway Terminus: The first train was flagged off from Bori Bunder (CST) on 16 Apr 1853.A small wooden structure was the railway terminus of Great India Peninsular Railway.The modest station has now metamorphosed into one of the most magnificent railway stations of the world, and is known as Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (earlier Victoria Terminus).The modern Victoria Terminus (VT) was constructed in 10 years time between 1878-88 at a cost ofRs 16,35,562.
4.First Gauge Lines: In 1862 first narrow gauge line (2 ft 16 inches gauge) was built by Baroda State Railway.Animal power was used to haul the train, although Nielson & Co built a locomotive in 1863 to be operated on the line from Debhoi to Miyagram, as the 6.5 km/m rails were not suited for regular use of engine.
5.First and only Rack Railway System: Operates between Mettupalayam and Udagmandalam (Ooty), as the gradient is very steep a second pair of cylinders on the locomotives activate a mechanism underneath the engine which engages the toothed rail in the middle of the track giving the engine extra push.
6.First Railway Bridge: The first railway bridge was built over Thane Creek in 1854.
7.First Double-Decker Coaches: Bombay-Baroda and Central India Railway (BB&CI) introduced double-deckers in 1862.This is also a world record. The double-decker coaches are used on the Sinhagadh Exp, deployed between Bombay VT and Pune in 1978.
8.First Platform tickets: The Sind, Punjab and Delhi Railway at Lahore were the first to issue platform tickets.
9.First Ticket Reservation and Travel: Baronet Sir Jamsetjee Jeejeebhoy reserved the entire train and travelled from Bombay to Thane and back, accompanied by some members of his family on 17 Apr 1853. Sir Jamsetjee was also one of the first directors of the Great India Peninsula Railway Company.
10.First Metro: The underground mass rapid system, the metro was first introduced in Calcutta on 24th Oct 1984. It is ranked among the best metro railways of the world.
11.First Elevated Railway: The elevated railway was inaugurated in Madras on 15th Nov 1995. The prestigious project between Madras Beach and Chepauk, known as the Mass Rapid Transit System (MRTS) is one of the landmark achievements of Indian Railway.
12.First Superfast Train: Rajdhani Exp, between New Delhi and Howrah, commissioned on 1st Mar 1969. average speed 130 kmph.
13.First Fully Air Conditioned Train: Rajdhani Exp, from Bombay to Delhi in 1990.
14.First Electric Lighting: Jodhpur Railways acquired the J Stones patented design of electric lighting in 1897. The train lighting was very rare during that period even in England.
15.First Electrification: Bombay-Pune line was first electrified in 1925.
16.First Electric Train: The first electric train ran between Bombay VT to Kurla on 3 Feb 1925.
17.First Women Engine Driver: Surekha Bhonsle of Bombay. She joined the Indian Railways in 1990
18. Railway Network: Though it is commonly believed, India doesn’t have the largest railway network in the World. India comes fourth with approx. 64,000 km of railroad after US, Russia, and China.
19. In 1951 the systems were nationalized as one unit, the Indian Railways, becoming one of the largest networks in the world and today Indian Railways is the world’s ninth largest commercial or utility employer, by number of employees, with over 1.4 million employees.
20. If the tracks were to be laid out from one point to another around the equator, it would circle it one-and-a-half times.
21. Distance Covered: The total distance covered by the 14,300 trains daily on the Indian Railways daily equals three & half times the distance to moon.
22. Fastest train in India: New Delhi-Bhopal Shatabdi Express is the fastest train in India. The all air-conditioned superfast train clocks a maximum speed of 150km/h on the Faridabad-Agra section.It also has the highest commercial speed – 89.87 km/h- and covers the 704 km New Delhi – Bhopal stretch in 7 hours 50 minutes.
23. Slowest train in India: Metupalayam Ooty Nilgiri Passenger which runs at a speed of 10kmph, 15 times slower than fastest running train. Since this train runs in hilly region there are speed limits to comply.The one that comes close is Pratapnagar-Jambusar passenger, with a maximum speed of 12km/h and an average speed of 11km/h. It takes 4 hrs for a journey of 44 km.
24. Trains with most stops: The record for maximum number of stops by an Express/Mail train is held by Howrah – Amritsar Express 115 halts, followed by Delhi – Howrah Janata Express 109 halts and Jammu Tawi – Sealdah Express 99 halts
25. Junction with most number of routes originating from it: Mathura junction with 7 routes- Broad Gauge (BG) line to Agra Cantt, BG line to Bharatpur, BG line to Alwar, BG line to Delhi, Metre Gauge (MG) line to Achnera, MG line to Vrindavan and MG line to Hathras, Kasganj.
Six route junction – Bhatinda. Five route junctions – Lucknow, Guntakal, Katni, Varanasi, Kanpur Central, Villupuram, Dabhoi, and Nagpur.
26. Longest Platform: Indian Railways owns the longest railway platform in the world at Kharagpur (West Bengal) with a length of 2,733 ft (1072.5 m) in length.
27.Passenger Load: The Indian Railways (IR) carries over 25 million passengers daily which is perhaps more than the entire population of Australia, New Zealand and Tasmania put together.
Annually Indian Railways ferries 7.2 billion passengers (nearly 6x India’s current population).
28.Worst Rail Disaster: In the Bihar train disaster on June 6, 1981, a passenger train carrying 800 or more passengers between Mansi and Saharsa, derailed and plunged into the river Bagmati while it was crossing a bridge.After five days, more than 200 bodies were recovered, with hundreds more missing that were feared washed away by the river. Estimates of total deaths range from 500 to 800 or more.
29.Longest Railway Bridge: The Dehri-on-Sone Railway Bridge over the Sone near Sasaram, on the Calcutta- Delhi main line.The bridge is 3,064m (10,052 ft) long.It was opened for traffic on Feb 27 1900.
30.Longest Tunnels: 6.5 km long at Karbude near Ratnagiri on Konkan Railway.Believed to be longest in the world.
31.Longest Passenger Routes: 6017/1018 Himsagar Exp between Jammu Tawi and Kanniyakumari covers a distance of 3,738 km (or 3,726km from Jul 1992 when routed via Gudur-Renigunta).
The longest route for daily train is that of the Kerala Exp running daily between New Delhi and Thiruvananthapuram covering a distance of 3,054 km.
32.Smallest Train Route:The Siliguri-Darjeeling mountain train or popularly named as Toy Train, covered a distance of 29 km between Siliguri and Tindharia. It was later on extended upto Darjeeling in 1882. The branch line of the NE Railway between Ankapur and Katra built in 1882 also covers a distance of 29 km.
33.Railway Station with Longest name: SRIVENKATANARASIMHRAJUWARIPETA, a small junction in Andhra Pradesh.
34.Railway Station with Shortest name: Ib, in Orrisa.
35.Nehru Setu on Sone River is the longest Railway bridge.
36.42 Railway companies operated in the country before independence.
37.People employed in Indian Railway are about 1.6 milion.