India Has The 4th Largest Railway Network In The World

Can we imaging our lives without trains…atleast most of us cannot.

Railways and roadways are the two means of transport over the land. Roads can be built in the hilly areas also whereas railway lines cannot be laid easily. The railways have advantage over the roadways that they can carry a large number of passengers and large and heavy loads to long distances. Also journey by train is more comfortable than by bus. India has a large network of railways throughout the country. We have trains from one corner of India to the other corner.

The Indian nationwide rail network, the third longest in the world is owned and operated by state-owned Indian Railways and includes an operating route length of more than 65,000km. The network carried about eight billion passengers (the highest in the world) and 1.01 million tonnes of freight (fourth highest in the world) in 2013.

The first railway in India ran in 1853 from Bombay to Thane a distance of 34 km. In less than 150 years we have the largest network of railways in Asia. Indian railways employ about 17 lac people.

The Indian railway network is divided into 17 zones and operates more than 19,000 trains per day, including 12,000 passenger trains and 7,000 freight trains. The national railway operator plans to add 4,000km of new lines by 2017, as well as significant gauge conversion, doubling and electrification of its existing aging lines. It also plans to add 3,338km of exclusive freight network by 2017 with the implementation of Eastern & Western Dedicated Freight Corridors(DFC), two of the six identified dedicated freight corridors in India.

Six high-speed corridors have also been identified for implementation in the country. The 534km Mumbai-Ahmedabad high-speed link is being advanced as a pilot project with an estimated investment of $9.65bn.

Rank Country Railway length
Date of
Notes Electrified length
Historic peak length
Area (km2) per km track Population per km track Nationalized or Private
1  United States 250,000[2] 2014 [3] <1,600[4] 409,000[5] 43.71 1,373 Private
2  China 121,000 2015 [6][a] 65,000[7] Present length 79.31 11,218 Nationalized
3  India 115,000 2016 [8][9] 27,999[10] 48.34 17,796 Nationalized
4  Russia 86,000 2013 [11] “Commercial operational length” (50,000)
not verified
198.82 1,669 Nationalized
5  Canada 46,552 2008 [3] 129 214.48 716 Private

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