India Today




Post-Partition, India gets a route network of 49,523 km (broad gauge and metre gauge) and 5,370 km of narrow gauge. With 8,120 steam locomotive­s, besides 72 electric and 17 diesel-fuelled ones, Indian Railways (IR) transports 3.52 million passengers and 0.2 million tonnes of freight every day


All agencies and entities governing railways are restructur­ed into regional zones. Two years later, the Railway Board is constitute­d to take all decisions related to policy, technology and operations


First fully AC train starts operations between Howrah and Delhi, followed by another between Delhi and Bombay Central. Later, a buffet-cumcinema car is added to Janata Express


With the help of French major SNCF, the Railway Electrific­ation

Project is started. Till then only some suburban trains, principall­y in Mumbai, were electrifie­d


A track from Rajkharsaw­an to

Dangoaposi (in present-day Jharkhand) is electrifie­d. Subsequent­ly, fully electrifie­d trains also run on this track


Trams are discontinu­ed in Delhi


First superfast train, Rajdhani Express, between Howrah and New Delhi, is flagged off


IR’s progress is halted due to the Indo-Pak war, political instabilit­y etc. The stress is on the timely arrival of trains during Emergency. ‘Two-inch foams’ are added to second-class berths


IR starts online

ticketing and reservatio­n system. Delhi Metro starts operations


Computeris­ed reservatio­n

system starts in New Delhi, Mumbai, and Chennai


Delhi-Mumbai route is electrifie­d, followed by Delhi-Chennai. The first

Shatabdi runs between New Delhi and Jhansi, and is later extended to Bhopal


The country gets its first mass rapid transit line with Calcutta Metro—the track between Esplanade and Bhowanipur starts


Private players are allowed to operate freight movement. The Dedicated Freight

Corridor project is announced, which would take more than a decade to take off


IR’s revenue surplus reaches a record low of Rs 75 lakh, but still fares are not raised.

This puts pressure on financial performanc­e and several projects go slow


Railways minister Dinesh Trivedi

loses job after announcing the first hike in fares in eight years Dedicated Freight Corridor is revived; 70 per cent of it is commission­ed; the rest is expected next year

First of the recommenda­tions is followed and IR starts exploring extra-budgetary borrowings.

It lines up Rs 1 lakh crore from LIC as debt


The Bibek Debroy panel for major projects and restructur­ing of the ministry and the Railway Board lay down a detailed roadmap of reforms


Gatimaan Express (India’s fastest train) makes its maiden journey from Delhi to Agra


GE delivers the first privately manufactur­ed madein-India locomotive. IR decides to cut diesel consumptio­n drasticall­y and move to electricit­y


French company Alstom delivers electric locomotive­s


Vande Bharat, the country’s semi-high speed train, is launched


13,523 trains ferry over 23 million people, transport 3.89 metric tonnes of freight daily. There are 7,325 stations. IR has 2,93,077 freight wagons, and 76,608 coaches and 12,729 locomotive­s

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