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The railways are a life support to millions of people all around the world. It ushered in an era of industrialization and globalization through rapid transcontinental transport, connecting places like was never thought before. The lowest of socio-economic strata depend on the railway system for long distance journeys. Trains simply changed the way

Ancient railway tracks: To make animal drawn carriages more efficient a transport process, pre-determines tracks were put to place, over which the wheels would ply. This was 2000 years ago, in Egypt, Babylon and Greece. Remnants of these ‘wagonways’ can be found in the Isthmus of Corinth, in Greece.

Steam Engines: James Watt is credited as the discoverer of the steam engine. Watt’s patent ran out in 1800 and several engineers started augmenting the design. first steam engines ran on primitive tracks on 21st February, 1804. Richard Trevithick’s unnamed steam locomotive that hauled a train, along a tramway.

The first electric locomotive was built in 1837 by Robert Davidson and the first internal combustion engine (diesel engine) by William Dent Priestman.

High speed railway came in 1964, when the Tokaido Shinkansen was introduced between Tokyo and Osaka, in Japan.


Indian Railways

Who is known as the father of Indian Railways?

Lord Dalhousie is known as the father of Indian Railways.

When did the first train run in India?

Name Built By Ran From

Ran To


Red Hill Railway Arthur Cotton Red Hills

Chintradipet Bridge in Madras


Godavari Dam Construction Railway
Arthur Cotton Dowleswaram in Rajamundry

Over the Godavari River


Solani Aqueduct Railway Proby Cautley Roorkee

Over the Solani River


The idea of a passenger train first occurred to George Clark. He was the Chief Engineer of the Bombay Government. The first railway in the subcontinent of India ran from Mumbai to Thane on April 16,1853 at 3:30 PM. It had 14 railway carriages and carries 400 guests. It was 21 miles in stretch.

The first passenger trains:

Ran From Ran To Date


Bori Bunder (Mumbai) Thane April 16, 1853

34 km

Kolkata Hooghly August 15, 1854

39 km

Chennai Arcot July 1, 1856

97 km

Modern Indian Railways

What is the capacity of the Indian Railways?

Indian Railways is the world’s 4th largest railway network, in terms of size. It is the largest Rail Network in Asia.
It is the world’s 8th largest employer.
It has 1.308 million employees, as of 2017.
It has a revenue of US$29 billion in 2018–2019
It is a multi-gauge, multi-traction system.
It covers a total of 1,08,706 kilometres.
Indian Railways runs an approx. of 11,000 trains every day.

What are the services provided?

Indian Railway Services consist of:

1. Passenger Railways

2. Freight Services

3. Parcel Carrier

4. Catering and Tourism Services

5. Parking lot Operations

6. Related Services


Who manages the Indian Railways?
The Railway Board oversees the Railways and reports to the Ministry.
The Railway Board is a part of the Ministry of Railways, consists of One Chairman and 5 other members.
The present Minister of Railways is Piyush Goyal.

How many zones is the Indian Railways divided into?

There are, in total, 16 zones.

Railway Zone Headquarters


Central Railway Mumbai


Eastern Railway


East Central Railway Hajipur


East Coast Railway


Northern Railway
Baroda House, New Delhi


North Central Railway


North Eastern Railway


North Frontier Railway
Maligaon, Guwahati


North Western Railway


Southern Railway


South Central Railway


South Eastern Railway
Garden Reach, Kolkata


South East Central Railway


South Western Railway


Western Railway


West Central Railway


What are the Indian Railways Exams?

Railways have personnel employed under separate departments (Technical or non-technical) in each zone and division.
Technical departments:

  • Civil Engineering
  • Technical Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering

Non-technical departments:

  • Accounts
  • Personnel Management
  • Railway Protection Force or Security and Traffic Services etc.

Recruitment into each department is made at levels. Highest level is officers in Group A and lowest is staff in Group D.

Group A Exams

Group Exam


  Group A UPSC (Union Public Service Commission Exam)


Civil Service Examination

Indian Railway Traffic Service (IRTS)

Indian Railways Accounts Service (IRAS)

Combined Engineering Service

Indian Railway Service of Engineers (IRSE)

Indian Railway Service of Electrical Engineers (IRSEE)

Indian Railway Services of Signal Engineers (IRSSE)

Indian Railway Store Service (IRSS)

The career progression of Group A officers is as follows:

Post Features
RRB ALP (Assistant Loco Pilot) Post: Train Driver
Eligibility: Diploma in Electrical/Mechanical/Electronics
18-30 years
RRB JE (Junior Engineer)
Eligibility : 3 years diploma in Electrical/Mechanical/Civil/Electronics/IT etc
B.Sc in Civil Engineering
18-25 years age
RRB SSE (Senior Section Engineer)
Eligibility: 4 years Bachelor’s degree in streams of Electrical/Mechanical/Civil/Mechatronics/Automobile/M.Sc
20-34 years age
RRC Group D
Eligibility: 10th Pass/ITI or equivalent
Posts: Trackman, helper-II, porter etc.
18-33 years age
RRB NTPC (Non Technical Popular Categories)


1. Traffic Apprentice

2. Commercial Apprentice

3. Enquiry- Cum-Reservation Clerk

4. Goods Guard

5. Senior – Clerk-Cum Typist

6. Junior Accounts Assistant -Cum –Typist

7. Assistant Station Master

8. Traffic Assistant

9.Senior Time Keeper

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