Indian Railways is a state railway company responsible for rail transport in India. It is owned and operated by the Government of India through the Ministry of Railways. It is one of the largest rail networks in the world comprising 92,081 km of track on a route of 66,687 km (41,437 mi) and 7,216 stations by the end of 2015-16. In 2015-16, IR transported 8,107 million passengers annually or more than 22 million passengers per day and 1,101 million tons of cargo annually.Railways were first introduced in India in the year 1853 from Bombay to Thane. In the year 1951 the systems were nationalised as one unit, the Indian Railways is one of the largest networks in the world. Indian Railways operates both long distance and suburban rail systems.
In India railway transport started in the mid-nineteenth century.In the year 1848 there was not a single kilometre of railway line in India. The country's first railway was built by Great Indian Peninsula Railway (GIPR), opened in the year 1853, between Bombay and Thane.A British engineer, Robert Maitland Brereton, was responsible for the expansion of the railways from 1857 onwards. The East India Railway Company was established on 1 June 1845 in London by a settlement act with a capital of £ 4,000,000, raised largely in London. The Great Southern India Railway Co. was founded in Great Britain in 1853 and registered in 1859. Construction of the track In the Presidency of Madras began in 1859 and the 80-mile link from Trichinopoly to Negapatam was opened in 1861. The Carnatic Railway founded In 1864, opened a line of Madras-Arakkonam-Kancheepuram in 1865. The Great Southern India Railway Company was later merged with the Carnatic Railway Company in 1874 to form the Southern Railway Company of India.The Allahabad-Jabalpur branch of the East India Railway had been opened in June 1867. Brereton was responsible for linking this to the GIPR, resulting in a combined network of 6,400 km. Therefore, it became possible to travel directly from Bombay to Calcutta. This route was officially inaugurated on March 7, 1870 and was part of the inspiration for the book of the French writer Jules Verne, Around the World in Oighty Days. At the opening ceremony, Viceroy Lord Mayo concluded that "it was thought desirable, as far as possible, that the whole country be covered with a network of lines in a uniform system."In 1895, India had begun to build its own locomotives, and in 1896, it sent engineers and locomotives to help build the Uganda Railways.
Indian Railways is divided into 17 zones, which are subdivided into divisions. The number of zones in the Indian railways increased from six to eight in 1951, nine in 1966 and sixteen in 2003. Each zonal railway is composed of a number of divisions, each with a divisional headquaters. There are a total of sixty-eight divisions.Each area is headed by a general manager, who reports directly to the Railways Board. The zones are divided into divisions, under the control of division rail managers (DRM). The divisional, engineering, mechanical, electrical, signaling and telecommunications, accounting, personnel, operating, commercial, security and safety officers report to the respective Divisional Head of Railways and are responsible for the operation and maintenance of The assets. Further down the hierarchy tree are station masters, who control the individual stations and train movements across the territory of the track under the administration of their stations.