Indian Railways has a huge network of train routes, catering to the farthest and remotest corners of the country on a daily basis. For smooth operations and administrative purposes, the entire network has been divided into 16 zones:
3. East Coast
4. East Central
6. West Central
8. North Eastern
9. North Western
10. North Central
11. North Frontier
13. South Eastern
14. South Western
15. South Central
16. South East Central
The major railway zones of Indian Railways train routes are Eastern, Western, Central, Southern and Northern. The Southern zone was the first one to be established after the Indian independence. The year 2003 saw the establishment of 5 new zones, namely East Coast, North Central, South East Central, West Central and South Western. Each of the 16 zones has been further divided into different divisions, each with a zonal headquarter.
The List of different Indian railway zones is as follow
Established in the year 1952, Eastern Railways was formed by the integration of the East Indian Railway (EIR), which consisted of Danapur, Asansol, Howrah, Sealdah divisions and Bengal-Nagpur Railway. EIR operated its first train between Howrah and Hooghly in 1854, and by 1862, it had connected to Delhi.
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.
|East Coast Railway||
East Coast Railway (ECoR) was the first of the seven new zones in Indian Railways, inaugurated on August 8, 1996, by the then Prime Minister of India – Shri H. H. Devegowda. One of the seven blue chip zones, ECoR came into existence after the approval of the parliament in 1996, and initially, only single division named Khurda Road was attached to it
Formed in the year 1951, Western Railways was result of the merger between the state railways of Jaipur, Saurashtra and Rajputana along with Baroda, Bombay and Central India Railways. The headquarters of Western Railways is at the Churchgate Station in Mumbai. It serves the states of Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Maharashtra, covering a distance of approximately 6400 kilometres, including that of broad gauge, metre gauge and narrow gauge
|West Central Railway||
The West Central Railway zone was carved out of the erstwhile Western and Central Railway zones. It was created on 4th July, 2002 with a gazette notification by the Ministry of Railway, and has its headquarters in Jabalpur.
Established in the year 1952, Northern Railways is the largest zone (out of the 16) in terms of kilometres covered (approximately 6807) in India. The headquarters of the Northern Railways zone is at Baroda House, Delhi and New Delhi Railway Station
|North Eastern Railway||
The North Eastern Railway came into existence on 14th April, 1952 by amalgamating two major railway systems – Assam Railways and Oudh and Tirhut Railways, and Cawnpore-Achnera section of the Bombay, Baroda and Central India Railway.
|North Western Railway||
Formed on 1st October, 2002, North Western Railway was carved out from the Western and Northern Railways, with two divisions from each of these railways. On 16th September, 1996, Railway Board had approved the formation of NWR zone along with five other new zones
Southern Railways is one of the oldest zones (out of the 16) in the country. It was created in the year 1951, by merging together Mysore State Railway, Madras and Southern Mahratta Railway and South Indian Railway Company
|South Eastern Railway||
The South Eastern Railway (SER) zone was formed on August 1st, 1955 as a result of the separation of the Bengal Nagpur Railway from the Eastern Railway Zone. SER comprises about 4 per cent of the total length of the Indian Railways, and caters to the states of West Bengal, Jharkhand and Odisha.
|South Western Railway||
South Western Railway (SWR) was created by the merger of the Hubli division of South Central Railway and the Mysore and Bangalore divisions of Southern Railway. The zone consists of 336 major and minor stations, coach factories in Mysore and Hubli, and two diesel locomotives sheds in Hubli and Krishnarajapuram
|South Central Railway||
South Central Railway (SCR) was founded in October 1966 as the ninth railway zone of India. The Hubli and Vijayawada divisions of Southern Railway, and the Solapur and Secunderabad divisions of Central Railway were joined together to form SCR.