Central Railways came into existence when it was carved out of the erstwhile Great Indian Peninsular (GIP) Railway, Wardha Coal State Railway, Scindia State Railway and Dholpur Railways, in November 1951. Today, it caters to more than 4 lakh passengers on a daily basis, making it one of the leading passenger carrying networks in India. Its headquarters is at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CSTM), Mumbai and is one of the largest zones in the country. This zone also handles the Mumbai Suburban Train System that runs from Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus to Kalyan station, and from here, it goes in two directions – Khopoli and Kasara. The Mumbai Suburban operates 1618 trains every day connecting 77 stations, carrying more than 3 million passengers. In addition, this zone operates 44 suburban trains on the Pune-Lonavala part, which is part of the Pune division.
This zone is also known for its Neral-Matheran line in the Western Ghats on the Pune-Mumbai main route. Some of the other noted trains handled by Central Railways include Gitanjali Express, Pushpak Express, Punjab Mail, Hussain Sagar Express and Deccan Queen.
The freight business on the network of Central Railways is an important source of revenue for the Indian Railways. Commodities like sugar, onion, coal, cement, petroleum products, containers, indigenous fertilisers and imported coal are carried on this network.
Central Railways has been divided into 5 divisions, namely Solapur, Pune, Mumbai, Nagpur and Bhusawal
Solapur Railway Junction serves as the headquarters of Solapur Railway Division. It is among the top 100 seat reservation stations of the country. There are 5 platforms in this station.
This division came into existence in 1996 with the jurisdiction of Lonavala-Pune route. There are 71 railway stations under the Pune division, which caters to four districts of the state of Maharashtra – Kolhapur, Sangli, Pune and Satara. These 71 stations have been classified into A1 class, B class, A class, D class, C class, F class and E class. The Pune division is the first one in Central Railways to complete the installation of all UTS and UTS cum PRS locations. Currently, it has 59 UTS, out of which, 12 are UTS cum PRS locations.
Headquarters of the Central Railways, CSTM in Mumbai is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a historical structure. This station was constructed in the year 1887 and features traditional Mughal and Victorian Italianate Gothic Revival architecture styles. The design of the station was created by Frederick William Stevens. CSTM is one of the busiest railway stations in the country, with it receiving trains from almost all parts of the country, on a daily basis. Interestingly, this station has been shown in popular Bollywood movies and a Hollywood movie.
The Nagpur Railway Station is one of the busiest stations in the country with 242 trains making a halt, of which 26 of them originating or terminating here. This station was established in 1924, but the initiation of railways in this city can be traced back to the year 1867.
Bhusawal division has 121 stations under its jurisdiction, with three main lines and several branch lines. The Bhusawal Station was set up in the year 1860 with a single platform. In 1920, the Bhusawal division was founded under the GIP Railway. The junction stations of this division are Jalgaon, Khandwa, Manmad, Pachora, Chalisgaon, Akola, Jalamb, Badnera and Murtajapur. This division connects with other ones of Central Railways at Manmad (Solapur division), Igatpuri (Mumbai CSTM division) and Badnera (Nagpur division). The Bhuswal division connects to other zones of the Indian Railways at Akola Junction (South Central), Khandwa Junction (South Central and Western Central), Jalgaon Junction (Western) and Manmad Junction (South Central).
This zone is the only one in the Indian Railways that has no sub zones
Central Railways caters to parts of southern Madhya Pradesh, north-eastern Karnataka and a large part of Maharashtra. Approximately 3905 route kilometres and 5975 track kilometres is covered by this network, connecting about 477 railway stations. Some of the long or main routes of this zone are Mumbai CSTM-Nagpur, Pune-Kolhapur, Pune-Tandur, Mumbai CSTM-Pune and Ballharshah-Itarsi..