Sun. Jul 21st, 2024

India, country known for its extensive railway network, boasts one of the world’s largest and busiest rail systems. In 2023, the Northern Railway Zone stands out as the largest and most significant railway zone in India. Covering a vast expanse of the northern part of India, this railway zone plays a pivotal role in connecting major cities, facilitating economic development, and ensuring efficient transportation of goods and passengers.

Railway Zones of India

The Ministry of Railways, a governmental body in India, oversees the operations of Indian Railways, a vast and intricate network that began its journey with the inauguration of the first passenger train from Bombay to Thane in 1853. In 1951, a significant milestone was reached when the entire system was nationalized, transforming Indian Railways into one of the largest railway networks in the world.

To streamline operations across the vast expanse of the country, Indian Railways is organized into zones and divisions. Zones represent extensive regions, covering entire states or portions of multiple states, while divisions are sub-categories that facilitate more localized management. Currently, there are 70 divisions and 19 zones, including the Kolkata Metro Railway.

Within this organizational structure, each division is overseen by a Divisional Railway Manager (DRM), who, in turn, reports to the General Manager of the respective zone. This hierarchical framework ensures efficient coordination and management of railway operations throughout the country.

India’s Largest Railway Zone 2023

The Northern Railway Zone, established in 1859 and officially designated a railway zone on April 14, 1952, is now renowned as one of India’s oldest and largest railway zones. Covering Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Haryana, Punjab and parts of Uttar Pradesh, it extends its services to key Union Territories such as Delhi, Jammu and Kashmir and Chandigarh. Headquartered at Baroda House in new Delhi, the Northern Railway operates an expansive railway network spanning an impressive 6,807 kilometers. Its rich history, extensive coverage and vital role in connecting diverse regions solidify its status as a cornerstone of India’s vast railway network.

Largest Railway Zones in India, List

Norther Railway Zone (NR) with the total length of 6,968 km with the 1142 stations, stands as the largest railway zone in India, followed by Western Railway Zone, North Western Railway Zone and Southern Railway Zone.

Here is the list of largest railway zones in India:

Railway Zone Code Zone Headquarter Route Length (in km) Number of Stations Railway Divisions
Northern Railway NR Delhi 6,968 1142 Delhi, Ambala, Firozpur, Lucknow NR, Moradabad
Western Railway WR Mumbai 6,182 1046 Mumbai WR, Ratlam, Ahmedabad, Rajkot, Bhavnagar, Vododara
North Western Railway NWR Jaipur 5,459 663 Jaipur, Ajmer, Bikaner, Jodhpur
Southern Railway SR Chennai Central 5,079 890 Chennai, Tiruchirapalli, Madurai, Palakkad, Salem, Thiruvananthapuram
Central Railway CR Mumbai CSMT 4,102 612 Mumbai, Bhusawal, Pune, Solapur, Nagpur CR
Northeast Frontier Railway NFR Maligaon, Guwahati 3,948 753 Alipurduar, Katihar, Rangiya, Lumding, Tinsukia
North Eastern Railway NER Gorakhpur 3,667 537 Izzatnagar, Lucknow NER, Varanasi
East Central Railway ECR Hajipur 3,628 800 Danapur, Dhanbad, Pt Deen Dayal Upadhyaya, Samastipur, Sonpur
South Western Railway SWR Hubballi 3,566 456 Hubballi, Bengaluru, Mysuru
South Coast Railway SCoR Visakhapatnam 3,496   Waltair, Vijayawada, Guntur, Guntakal
North Central Railway NCR Prayagraj 3,151 435 Prayagraj, Agra, Jhansi
South Central Railway SCR Secunderabad Junction 3,127 883 Secunderabad, Hyderabad, Nanded
West Central Railway WCR Jabalpur 2,965 372 Jabalpur, Bhopal, Kota
South Eastern Railway SER Garden Reach, Kolkata 2,631 353 Adra, Chakradharpur, Kharagpur, Ranchi
South East Central Railway SECR Bilaspur 2,447 358 Bilaspur, Raipur, Nagpur SEC
Eastern Railway ER Fairlie Place, Kolkata 2,414 576 Howrah, Sealdah, Asansol, Malda
East Coast Railway ECoR Bhubaneswar 2,204 342 Khurda Road, Sambalpur, Rayagada
Konkan Railway KR Navi Mumbai 741 67 Karwar, Ratnagiri
Metro Railway, Kolkata MTP Kolkata 39 33  


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