The first train in the country had run between Roorkee and Piran Kaliyar on December 22, 1851 and not two years later as widely known. To solve the then irrigation problems of farmers, large quantity of clay was required which was available in Piran Kaliyar area, 10 km away from Roorkee.
In 1845, along with Sir Jamsetjee Jejeebhoy, Hon. Jaganath Shunkerseth (known as Nana Shankarsheth) formed the Indian Railway Association.
In 1900, the GIPR became a government owned company. The network spread to the modern day states of Assam, Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh and soon various independent kingdoms began to have their own rail systems.
In 1901, an early Railway Board was constituted, but the powers were formally invested under Lord Curzon. It served under the Department of Commerce and Industry and had a government railway official serving as chairman, and a railway manager from England and an agent of one of the company railways as the other two members. For the first time in its history, the Railways began to make a profit.
India's first electric locos (two of them), however, had already made their appearance on the Indian soil much earlier. They were delivered to the Mysore Gold Fields by Bagnalls (Stafford) with overhead electrical equipment by Siemens as early as 1910.
The first electric train ran between Bombay (Victoria Terminus) and Kurla, a distance of 16 kms, on February 3, 1925 along the city’s harbour route.
Following independence in 1947, India inherited a decrepit rail network. About 40 per cent of the railway lines were in the newly created Pakistan. Many lines had to be rerouted through Indian territory and new lines had to be constructed to connect important cities such as Jammu. A total of 42 separate railway systems, including 32 lines owned by the former Indian princely states existed at the time of independence spanning a total of 55,000 km. These were amalgamated into the Indian Railways.
In 1952, it was decided to replace the existing rail networks by zones. A total of six zones came into being in 1952. As India developed its economy, almost all railway production units started to be built indigenously. The Railways began to electrify its lines to AC. On 6 September 2003 six further zones were made from existing zones for administration purpose and one more zone added in 2006. The Indian Railways has now seventeen zones including Kolkata Metro.
Around 1950, legislation was passed allowing the central government to take over many of the independent railway systems that were in operation.
In 1951, the following zones were created:
In 1952, the following zones were created:
In 1955, the South-Eastern Railway is carved out of ER:
In 1958, the Northeast Frontier Railway was carved out of NER:
In 1966, South-Central Rly. was carved out of SR:
1849-1868 The Early Guarantee System: Under these contracts the Railway Companies undertook to construct and manage specified lines, while the East India Company (or the Secretary of State for India) agreed to provide land and guaranteed interest on the capital, the rate fixed being in various cases 5, 4.75 and 4.5 percent according to the market rates prevailing when the various contracts were made.
1869-1881 State Railway constructions: There were three kinds:
The New Guarantee System- Three new guaranteed companies were formed- Southern Maratha in 1882, the Indian Midland Railway in 1885 and the Bengal Nagpur Railway in 1887.
The State started acquiring the old guaranteed companies as and when their contracts came up for renewal.
|1||East India Railway||
|3||Awadh & Tirhut Railway||
|4||South Indian Railway||
|5||Bengal Nagpur Railway||
|6||Madras and Southern Marhatha Railway||