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Railway Zones in India
The Indian Railways, one of the largest railway networks in the world, plays a crucial role in connecting the vast expanse of India’s diverse landscape. To efficiently manage and operate this extensive railway network, the Indian Railways is divided into various zones. Railway Zones in India are responsible for managing a specific region, ensuring seamless connectivity, and providing safe and reliable transportation services to millions of passengers and freight across the country.
These railway zones serve as the backbone of India’s transportation system, connecting people and places while contributing significantly to the nation’s economic growth and development. Railway zones in India are administrative divisions of Indian Railways, each responsible for managing and operating a specific region of the vast railway network across the country.
How many Railway Zones are in India?
There is a total of 19 railway zones in India (including Metro Railway, Kolkata). These zones are responsible for managing and operating the Indian Railways network in different regions of the country. Each of these Zones is divided into Divisions. There are more than 70 Railway Divisions in India at present.
List of Railway Zones in India
Check here the complete List of Railway Zones in India with all other important information such as their establishment year, headquarters, how many states are covered by each zone, no. of divisions in that zone and their significance.
|Name of Zone||Headquarters||Year of Establishment||Number of Divisions||States Covered||Importance of Zone|
|Central Railway||Mumbai CST||1951||05||Maharashtra, parts of MP||Major connectivity in Maharashtra and a crucial link for Central India|
|Eastern Railway||Kolkata||1952||04||West Bengal, Bihar||Connects key cities and regions in West Bengal and Bihar|
|East Central Railway||Hajipur||1996||05||Bihar, Jharkhand||Important for Bihar and Jharkhand connectivity|
|East Coast Railway||Bhubaneswar||2003||03||Odisha, parts of AP||Serves Odisha and parts of Andhra Pradesh|
|Northern Railway||Delhi||1952||05||Delhi, UP, Haryana, Punjab, J&K, HP||Important for North India’s connectivity|
|North Central Railway||Prayagraj||2003||03||UP and MP||Covers major parts of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh|
|North Eastern Railway||Gorakhpur||1952||03||Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura||Connects northeastern states and plays a vital role in the region|
|North Western Railway||Jaipur||2002||03||Rajasthan and parts of Gujarat||Serves Rajasthan and some regions of Gujarat|
|Northeast Frontier Rly||Guwahati||1958||05||Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura, Sikkim||Connects Northeastern states and is vital for the region’s development|
|Southern Railway||Chennai||1951||06||Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, AP||Major link for South India, connecting key states and regions|
|South Central Railway||Secunderabad||1966||06||Andhra Pradesh, Telangana||Important for Andhra Pradesh and Telangana connectivity|
|South Eastern Railway||Kolkata||1955||04||West Bengal, Jharkhand, Odisha||Serves West Bengal, Jharkhand, and Odisha regions|
|South East Central Rly||Bilaspur||1998||05||Chhattisgarh, parts of MP||Covers Chhattisgarh and parts of Madhya Pradesh|
|South Western Railway||Hubballi||2003||03||Karnataka, parts of AP, Goa||Serves Karnataka, parts of Andhra Pradesh, and Goa|
|Western Railway||Mumbai Churchgate||1951||06||Maharashtra, Gujarat, MP||Covers major parts of Maharashtra and Gujarat|
|West Central Railway||Jabalpur||2003||03||Madhya Pradesh, parts of UP||Serves parts of Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh|
|South Coast Railway||Visakhapatnam||Yet to be notified||–||Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Pondicherry, Tamil Nadu||Connects geographical region of Northern Circars with Northern Tamil Nadu|
|Metro Railway Kolkata||Kolkata||1984||01||Urban rail in Kolkata||The urban rail network in Kolkata city|
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Management of Railway Zones in India
The management of railway zones in India is structured hierarchically. Indian Railways divides its operations into zones, each further subdivided into divisions.
- Each zone is headed by a General Manager (GM), and each division has a Divisional Railway Manager (DRM) as its head.
- The DRM is responsible for the efficient functioning of the division and is assisted by one or two Additional Divisional Railway Managers (ADRM).
- Various departmental heads, such as those for engineering, mechanical, electrical, accounts, personnel, safety, and more, report to the DRM. The DRM can be appointed from any of the eight organized services of Indian Railways, and they serve a tenure of three years, which can be extended on the recommendation of the Railway Board.
- This hierarchical management structure ensures effective administration and coordination of railway operations across different zones and divisions in the country.
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Railway Zone in India UPSC
The topic “Railway Zones in India” holds significance for UPSC aspirants as it is a part of the UPSC Syllabus under the Geography section, particularly in Indian Geography. Understanding the various railway zones, their headquarters, and the states they cover is essential for aspirants preparing for the UPSC examination. Additionally, questions related to railway connectivity, transportation, and regional development may appear in both UPSC Prelims and Mains exams. For comprehensive preparation, UPSC Online Coaching and UPSC Mock Test can aid aspirants in gaining in-depth knowledge of this topic and practising relevant questions, ensuring a strong grasp of India’s railway network and its regional significance in the country’s socio-economic development.
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