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The Indian railways with its massive networks carries million of passengers to their destinations everyday. It is currently one of the largest employers in the country with having more than 13 lakh employees for its countrywide network. With having its presence across the country, Indian Railway is divided into many zones with each zone having a General Manager as its head. Operating through one of the largest rail network in the world, the Indian railways has a vast structure consisting various production units, centralized training institutes, a full fledged research & development unit and many other subsidiaries.
The railways was introduced in India around 160 years back when the first ever train trial was done between Mumbai and Thane, in year 1853.
However, the real centralization of Indian railways was done after independence in year 1951 when it was nationalized as one unit. At present, the Indian railway is governed by ‘Railway’s Act 1989’, which was further amended by ‘Railways Amendment Act 2008’. With this expansion of network, the zones of railways were also expended to 8 in 1951, 9 in 1952, 13 in 2003 and as many as 17 currently.
Besides being the 8th largest employer in the country, the Indian Railways currently holds rolling stocks of over 239 thousand freight wagons, 62924 passenger coaches and locomotive of around 9013 units. As many as 12617 passenger trains and 7421 freight trains run across the country on daily basis. As far as electrification of the train routes is concerned, over 32 percent (20884 km) of the total route length was electrified till year 2013.
There are 17 zonal railways in India further divided into 68 divisions.
While the each zone is headed by a GM, each division is headed by a divisional railway manager (DRM). The operations and maintenance of the assets is handled by the divisional officers of various branches including engineering, signal and telecommunication, electrical, mechanical, accounts, personnel, commercial, operating, safety and security. This hierarchy further goes down to the Station Masters who take care of operations at individual stations.
Despite being the lifeline of millions in the country, the railway still carries many loopholes in the system which are evident from its financial heath. As per financial year ended in March 2016, the cash stripped Indian railway accounted a loss of Rs 30,000 corers. Each year government announces many new projects in the rail budget, most of which remain incomplete for one or the other reason. In last 10 years, projects of worth 60,000 crore were sanctioned for the Indian railways, out of which only 1 has been complete so far. With ambitions of future bullet trains, the Indian railway looks forward to develop itself into a world class system with continuous improvement in infrastructure and operations.