India is a land of diverse culture and Indian
Railways play a key role in not only meeting the
transport needs of the country, but also in binding
together dispersed areas and promoting national
integration. Truly, Indian Railways have emerged
as the sinews of the Indian economy and have reached
out to bring together the great Indian family.
traverse through the length and breadth of the
country covering 63,140 route kms as on 31.3.2002,
comprising broad gauge (45,099 kms), meter gauge
(14,776 kms) and narrow gauge (3,265 kms). As
the principal constituent of the nation's transport
system, Indian Railways own a fleet of 2,16,717
wagons (units), 39,236 coaches and 7,739 number
of locomotives and manage to run 14,444 trains
daily, including about 8,702 passenger trains.
They carry more than a million tonne of freight
traffic and about 14 million passengers covering
6,856 number of stations daily.
Railways have been the prime movers to the nation
and have the distinction of being one of the largest
railway systems in the world under a single management.
Railways being the more energy efficient mode
of transport are ideally suited for movement of
bulk commodities and for long distance travel.
As compared to road transport, the railways have
a number of intrinsic advantages. Railways are
five to six times more energy efficient, four
times more efficient in land use and significantly
superior from the standpoints or environment impact
and safety. Indian Railways, therefore, rightly
occupy pride of place in the growth and development
of the nation.
being the prime infrastructural sector of the
country, need to expand and develop to keep pace
with the growth of Indian economy. The massive
investment needed for the development of the railway
system has not been fully available. The budgetary
support to the railways has been increasing, but
is far from adequate and has not been keeping
pace with the throw-forward.
have to perform the dual role of commercial organization
ad vehicle for fulfillment of social obligations.
In national emergency, railways have been in the
forefront in rushing relief material to disaster
stricken regions. For meeting its social obligations,
railways are required to make investments that
are un-remunerative and also have to provide subsidized
services. Unlike many foreign railways, which
receive government subsidies for public service
obligations, Indian Railways are not specifically
compensated for these operations.
Indian Railway system is managed through zones
and operating divisions. There are also six production
units engaged in manufacturing rolling stock,
wheels and axles and other ancillary components
to meet Railways' requirements.
pursuance of the decisions taken earlier, Government
has now decided to operationalise seven new zones
and eight new divisions. The North Western Railway
at Jaipur and East Central Railway at Hajipur
have been made functional with effect from 1st
October 2002. Remaining five zones viz., East
Coast Railway at Bhubhaneshwar, North Central
Railway at Allahabad, South East Central Railway
at Bilaspur, South Western Railway at Hubli and
West Central Railway at Jabalpur and eight new
divisions at Agra, Ahmedabad, Guntur, Nanded,
Pune, Ranchi, Rangiya and Raipur shall be operational
with effect from 1st April.
Designs and Standards Organisation (RDSO) is the
sole research and development wing of Indian Railways,
functioning as the technical adviser and consultant
to the Ministry, Zonal Railways and Production
Units. RDSO has been reorganized with effect from
1.1.2003 by elevating its status from 'Attached
Office' to 'Zonal Railway' to give it greater
flexibility and a boost to the research and development
formation of policy and overall control of the
railways is vested in Railway Board comprising
the Chairman, Financial Commissioner and other
functional Members for Traffic, Engineering, Mechanical,
Electrical and Staff matters.
per the Separation Convention, 1924, the Railway
Budget is presented to the Parliament ahead of
the General Budget. Though the Railway Budget
is separately presented to the Parliament, the
figures relating to the receipt and expenditure
of the Railways are also shown in the General
Budget, since the receipts and expenditure of
the Railways are a part and parcel of the total
receipts and expenditure of the Government of