One of the largest networks in the world, Indian Railways connects more than 7,500 stations across India and has a network spread across over 65,000 km. Divided into various including Southern Railway, Northern Railway, Eastern Railway, Western Railway and Central Railway, Indian railways has a central reservation system and runs more than 10,000 trains daily.
History of Indian Railways
Right from the first train that connected Bombay to Thane in 1853, Indian Railways has evolved into one of the largest networks in the world and runs both, passenger and freight trains connected stations across the country. It is considered to be the most economical and well-connected means of transport in the country and lakhs of passengers use the system to travel to different stations across the length and breadth of the country. Also, it is a preferred means to transport heavy goods.
Indian Railways Trains & fare
Trains have coaches that have been divided into different classes based on the price of the ticket. These include:
- General compartment
- Sleeper class
- Executive class chair
- AC 1 tier
- AC 2 tier
- AC 3 tier
- AC chair
- First class AC
Indian Railways Seat availability
According to seat availability, travellers can book their tickets at their city railway station or just go online. To check seat availability online
- Go to irctc.co.in
- Check train schedule
- Make train reservations
- Check PNR status
- View Indian Railways time table
- Make a train enquiry
Services offered on Indian Railways
Indian railways have a pantry service that provides meals to passengers on board. While long distance trains provide breakfast, lunch and dinner, short distance trains provide snacks and refreshments, which are either charged directly or is part of the passenger fare.
Indian Railways Train booking
IRCTC is the official website of Indian Railways for train tickets booking. Travellers can go online and check seat availability and book their tickets. Indian Railways issues various kinds of tickets under different quotas. They include:
A confirmed ticket ensures that passengers get a reserved seat on the train.
Known as Reservation against cancellation, an RAC ticket stands a good change to be confirmed if another ticket is cancelled. There are close to 15 tickets allotted in the RAC category for every coach in a particular train.
A waitlisted ticket is attached to a number. As tickets are cancelled the waitlisted ticket moves up the order and might get confirmed. However, if a passenger carries a waitlisted ticket, they cannot board reserved coaches unlike RAC tickets.
Indian Railways Tatkal quota
Under the tatkal quota travellers can book their tickets a day in advance (not including the date of the journey). Once cancelled, there is no refund on confirmed tickets booked under the tatkal quota. However, waitlisted tickets have to bear a cancellation fee.
Popular trains in Indian Railways
Some of the popular trains of the network include classified on the basis of their speed include
- Rajdhani Express
- Shatabdi Express
- Jan Shatabdi Express
- Duronto Express
- Garib Rath
Indian railways also have some world-renowned trains, some of them having a World Heritage tag such as the Darjeeling-Himalayan Railway. Other popular trains include Palace on Wheels, Kalka-Shimla Railway, Samjhauta Express that connects India and Pakistan, and the Vivek Express that is has the longest journey connecting Dibrugarh and Kanyakumari.