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Railway Zones in India List, Headquarters, Established Year

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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Railway Zones in India FAQs

How many zones are divided in Railways?

Indian Railways is currently divided into 18 zones and one Kolkata metro zone.

Which is the 18th railway zone?

The 18th railway zone is the South Coast Railway (SCoR) with headquarters in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh.

Is Railway currently divided into 16 zones True or false?

False. Indian Railways is currently divided into 18 zones.

Which city has 3 railway zones?

Kolkata has 3 railway zones: Eastern Railway, South Eastern Railway, and Metro Railway Kolkata.

Which is the first railway zone?

The first railway zone is the Eastern Railway, headquartered in Kolkata.

About the Author

I, Sakshi Gupta, am a content writer to empower students aiming for UPSC, PSC, and other competitive exams. My objective is to provide clear, concise, and informative content that caters to your exam preparation needs. I strive to make my content not only informative but also engaging, keeping you motivated throughout your journey!

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