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Indian Railways, one of the most popular transport systems in India is also Asia’s largest and world’s second largest railway system controlled by a single management and has its head office at New Delhi. It is controlled by the Ministry of Railways under Government of India. The Union Minister manages the IR with two ministers of state rank, a financial commissioner, five members and will have a chairman too. The overall administration lies with the Railway Board. With a strong base of more than 16 million employees, Indian Railways is also the world’s largest commercial or utility employers. Proving to be very economical for the weaker sections of the society to travel and being comfortable to the affordable classes, the Indian Railways has grown to be the biggest transport system in India. IR operates through more than 7000 stations spread over 64000 kms.
Indian Railways is infact the gift of Britishers to India. It was they who designed and built the railways for us in the pre-independence era. Apart from all the plundering that they did with the wealth of India, the English people introduced the railway system for their own convenience that proved to be turning point in the history of India. Introduced for the first time in 1853, the Indian Railways has seen the changing face of the Indian economy as just being termed as underdeveloped to one of the world’s strongest developing country through its own commendable contribution. By the time the country achieved its independence, the Indian Railways already had 42 rail systems. All these were nationalised to make a biggest network in the World. IR covers the multi-guage network through broad, metre and narrow gauges.
Indian Railways has been divided into zones, divisions and subdivisions. There are about 16 zones and around 67 divisions in the Indian Railways. In the entire zonal set up, the Kolkata Metro though is operated by the Indian Railways, acts as a zonal railway. A General Manager heads the Sixteen zones and the Kolkata zone too. The zones come under the control of Divisional Railway Managers (DRM). Last in the line of power, the Station Masters cover the individual stations and control the movements of numerous trains that pass through each of their stations.
Thus the Indian Railways is one of the well organized, vast and cheapest means of transportation in India.
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