Rail India Heritage Bureau

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We highlights the milestone and achievements of the INDIAN RAILWAYS.

Calcutta Tramways 
Darjeeling Himalayan Railway
Nilgiri Mountain Railway
Matheran Hill Railway
Kalka Shimla Railway
Awards and achievements of IRCTC
Within a short span of its going online, the IRCTC website had become the largest and the fastest growing e-commerce website in the Asia-Pacific region, with about six lakh registered users in 2003.

Some of the other awards won by IRCTC are:

Awarded the National Tourism Award of Excellence by Ministry of Tourism, Govt. of India.
Awarded the National Award for E-Governance, 2007-08 jointly by Department of IT, Govt. of India and Govt. of Haryana.
Awarded the Genius of the Web Award 2007 for being the "Best E-Governance PSU Site" by CNBC.
IRCTC Tourism Unit of West Zone declared winner for the category Best Value Leisure Product in Travel and Tourism Fair of India (TTF & OTM 2008) held in Mumbai from 9 to 11 February 2008.
Won National award for E-Governance for being "Best Citizen Centric Application" for the year 2007-08.
IRCTC Tourism Unit declared winner for the category Most Innovative Product in Travel and Tourism Fair of India (TTF & OTM 2007) held in Mumbai from 10 to 12 February 2007.
Won CSI-Nihilent E-Governance award for "Best E-Governance Project" in 2007.
Won the ICICI Bank Retail Excellence Award in 2005.
Won Path Breaker Award from Dataquest in 2003 and 2004.
History of Indian Railways
The Indian Railways is a Government of India body which is responsible for the maintenance and operation of the entire rail network in India. As far as rail transport in India is concerned, it enjoys total monopoly. More than 17 million passengers avail the transport facilities offered by the Indian Railways.

History of Railway in India- Important Years

1832- Plans were proposed to introduce a rail network in India.
1844- Private entrepreneurs set up a private rail system in India.
1851- Trains became operational.
1853- Passenger trains were introduced.
1875- 95 million pounds were invested into Indian railways by British companies.
1895- Indian locomotives began to operate in the country.
1901- A Railway Board was established.
1907- The government obtained total control over most of the rail companies.
1908- First electric locomotive was introduced.
1947- 40% of the railway network came under Pakistan's possession.
History of Indian Railways- Important Years
After India obtained independence from the British, the rail network in the country was christened as the Indian Railways.

1951- Nationalization of the rail system in India took place.
1952- Six railway zones were introduced.
1995- Steam locomotives became obsolete. Only diesel and electric locomotives were operational.
1987-1995- The Indian Railways reservation system was computerised.
The Indian Railways now operates one of the world's largest rail networks. On an annual basis, more than 17 million passengers avail the transport services offered by the Indian Railways. The employment opportunities generated by the Indian Railways is also quite remarkable. Over 1.6 million employees work under the payrolls of the Indian Railways.

World Heritage Sites in Indian Railways
World Heritage Sites in Indian Railways – an Introduction
World Heritage Sites are the sites that are included on the list maintained by International World Heritage Programme administered by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee. These heritage sites have outstanding cultural or natural importance to the common heritage of humanity. Indian Railways also has a few sites that have been declared as World Heritage Sites by the UNESCO. Just even a few days back, there has been three World Heritage Sites in Indian Railways, which include (i) Mumbai Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST), (ii) Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, and (iii) Nilgiri Mountain Railway. But on 7th July, 2008, UNESCO included Kalka – Shimla Mountain Railway into the list of World Heritage Site to make the number of World Heritage Sites in Indian Railways to four.

Mumbai Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST)
Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) is a historic railway station in Mumbai. Formerly known as Victoria Terminus, or Bombay VT, it is one of the busiest railway stations in India and the headquarters of the Central Railways. One of the World Heritage Sites in Indian Railways, this historic station was designed by Frederick William Stevens in 1887-1888, and it took Rs. 16.14 lakh at that time to build it. This terminus took ten years to complete and was named after the reigning Queen Victoria.

Darjeeling Himalayan Railway
Darjeeling Himalayan Railway is another World Heritage Sites in Indian Railways, nicknamed as the "Toy Train". It is a narrow-gauge railway (610mm) that runs from Siliguri to Darjeeling in West Bengal. Built between 1879 and 1881, this 86 km long railway, powered by a steam engine, ascend from 100m at Siliguri to about 2,200m at Darjeeling. This railway has been listed in the World Heritage Site in 1999.

Nilgiri Mountain Railway
Nilgiri Mountain Railway is another World Heritage Sites in Indian Railways that runs between Mettupalayam and the hill station of Udagamandalam. The only rack railway in India, Nilgiri Mountain Railway runs on the Nilgiri Hill, in Tamil Nadu, South India. One of the oldest mountain railways in India, this railway was opened by the British in 1899. It was included in the World Heritage Site in July, 2005.

Kalka – Shimla Mountain Railway
Kalka – Shimla Mountain Railway is the latest entrants in the World Heritage Sites in Indian Railways. On 7th July, 2008, UNESCO enlisted it on the list of World Heritage Sites. Constructed in 1903, Kalka – Shimla Mountain Railway is one of the significant railways in India. This 96.6 km railway stretches from Kalka to Shimla in Himachal Pradesh.

For more information on World Heritage Sites in Indian Railways, please go through the site www.headlinesindia.com.

Luxury Trains in India
Luxury Trains in India – an Introduction
Luxury Trains in India are one of the best ways to travel to famous tourist destinations in India. Besides the passenger trains, the Indian Railways do have a few luxury trains that provide state-of-the-art comforts and luxury on the wheels and cover famous tourist destinations in the country. Though a bit expensive, yet there is hardly any better way to travel to popular tourist destinations in the country than going for Luxury Trains in India. Focus mainly on the most popular tourist attractions in the country, Luxury Trains in India are ready to welcome you on its board with world class luxury, recreational facilities, personal attendants, and libraries. So, next time when you go for holiday, choose any of the Luxury Trains in India, you will cherish the experience for a long time, there is no doubt about that.

The Trains
If you are planning to visit the popular tourist attractions by Luxury Trains in India, you have a number of options to choose from. The Luxury Trains in India that are available for the tourists are as below:

Palace on Wheels
Heritage on Wheels
Deccan Odyssey
Fairy Queen
Royal Orient
Shekhawati Train
Golden Chariot
Palace on Wheels
One of the most popular Luxury Trains in India, the Palace on Wheels is known for the enchanting and gorgeous journey through the bygone era of the Maharajas in Rajasthan. It takes the tourists to the most popular tourist destination of Rajasthan in a 8 days / 7 nights tour. The journey starts and ends at New Delhi and cover the places like Jaipur, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, Sawai Madhopur, Udaipur, and Baharatpur of Agra.

Heritage on Wheels
This Luxury Train in India runs on meter gauge and covers the unexplored parts of Bikaner and Shekhawati in Rajasthan. In this tour of 4 days / 3 nights, you will explore the places like Jaipur, Bikaner and Shekahwati.

Deccan Odyssey
Deccan Odyssey is another Luxury Train in India, which is a joint venture of Indian Railways and Maharashtra Tourism. As a result, you will find the luxury in Maratha style here. It takes you to a 8 days / 7 nights tour from Mumbai and covers the places like Mumbai, Jaigad, Ganapatipule, Ratnagiri, Sindhuburg, Tarkali, Goa, Pune, Aurangabad, Ajanta, and Nasik. The tour ends at Mumbai.

Fairy Queen
One of the popular Luxury Trains in India, Fairy Queen is famous for its engine, which is the oldest running engine in the world. It takes you to a 2 days / 1 night tour from Delhi to cover Alwar, and Sariska. The tour ends at Delhi.

Royal Orient
One of the most luxurious trains in the world, a traveling experience on Royal Orient is thing to cherish. It takes you to a 8 days / 7 nights trip to Rajasthan and Gujrat, and passes through a series of serene lakes, ancient temples and exotic sea resort. The tour starts from Delhi and covers Chittaurgarh, Udaipur, Ahmedabad, Mehsana, Ranakpur, and Jaipur. You will return back at Delhi after the end of the tour.

Shekhawati Train
This Luxury Train in India offers package tour to Jaipur, Bikaner, Ajmer, Pushkar, Chittorgarh and Udaipur. The magnificent 'Havelis' of Shekhawati are the top attractions of this tour. You will start your 6 days / 5 nights tour from Jaipur, and return back at the same place after the end of the tour.

Golden Chariot
This is one of the new entrants in the list of Luxury Trains in India. It takes you to a tour of 8 days / 7 nights from Bangalore and will take you to Mysore, Kabini, Hassan, Halebidu, Belur, Hospet, Hampi, Aihole, Pattadakal, Badami, and Goa. The tour ends at Bangalore.

For more information on Luxury Trains in India, please go through the site www.headlinesindia.com.

International Trains from India
The historical background of India has played an important role in the commencement of international trains from India to the neighbouring countries. The International Trains from India primarily connects the neighbouring countries like Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal. Here you will get a brief description and idea of the trains that runs across the India National Border.

International Trains from India to Bangladesh
"Maitree Express" is the International train that runs from Calcutta in India to Dhaka in Bangladesh. This train is rightly named as it is considered as a link that has helped to revive the true bond of friendship and brotherhood between the two countries. Maitree Express is a direct train and the service commenced on 14 April 2008. It is interesting to note that the service of this train will be managed by both the countries. Indian Railways and Bangladeshi Railways will share the responsibility of looking after the service and management of this train every six months. The approximate distance covered by Maitree Express is estimated at around 538 km. a stretch of 120km in India and a stretch of 418km in Bangladesh. The train will follow the border point route at Gede/Darshana. The train runs on Saturdays and Sundays every week.

International Trains from India to Pakistan
International Train to Pakistan from India follows the route line of Delhi - Amritsar – Lahore. On Mondays & Thursdays, the "Samjhota Express" starts its journey from Amritsar to Atari and further to Wagah and finally reaches Lahore. The service of the "Samjhota Express" started on 31 May 2007.

Another international route followed across the border by Indian Railways to reach Pakistan is the Delhi - Jodhpur – Karachi route. The "Thar Express" which was started on 17 February 2006 also connects India and Pakistan with its terminus at Jodhpur in India and Karachi in Pakistan via Munabao, the border area.

One can also board a train from Delhi to Amritsar and then a taxi ride for a distance of 26km will take you to the India/Pakistan border at Atari. From Atari take a walk to Wagah which lies in Pakistan. Further you have to board another taxi to reach Lahore which is situated at a distance of 20km.

Indian Superfast Trains
Indian Superfast Trains – an Introduction
Indian Railways regularly ply hundred of trains to various destinations throughout the country. Among those trains, there are a few number of super fast trains that fall under prestigious category. From a mere dozens of Indian Superfast Trains three decades back, the number of Indian Superfast Trains has now crossed 200 mark. The superfast trains of India usually run faster than the other Mail / Express trains and cover the same distance in much lesser time. Though you need to pay some supplementary surcharges for that. So, to reach a destination in a lesser time, the Indian Superfast Trains could be a better choice for you.

Which are Superfast Trains?
According to the Indian Railways, the trains which attain an average speed of 55 km an hour are called "Superfast Trains". To mark the superfast trains, the train numbers of Indian Superfast Trains start with 2. Though it makes the destination much closer, you need to pay a Superfast Charge in order to travel on the Indian Superfast Trains. Over the past years, the Indian Railways is coverting a number of ordinary mail / express trains into superfast ones as it will generate more revenues in the form of the supplementary surcharge.

Types of Indian Superfast Trains
There are mainly three types of Indian Superfast Trains which are as below:

Rajdhani Expresses
Shatabdi and Jan Shatabdi Expresses
Other Superfast Mails / Expresses
Rajdhani and Shatabdi Expresses are the most renowned Indian Superfast Trains and the fastest trains in India. These are all air-conditioned trains providing luxurious and comfortable journey to the passengers. Rajdhani expresses connects various destinations with the capital of the nation and can run at a speed of about 140 km/h.

Shatabdi Expresses are air-conditioned Inter-city trains that connects the metro towns, important cities and business centers. With only seating arrangements, these superfast passenger trains of India can run at a speed of 130 km/h.

There is another variant of Shatabdi Express, known as "Swarna Shatabdi Express", which is a more luxurious versions of trains. Jan Shatabdi Expresses are mostly non-airconditioned trains, thus a bit economical.

The rest of the Indian Superfast Trains do not have any category name and are simply known as their names. The only different of these trains with ordinary mail / express trains is that, these superfast trains run faster than the ordinary ones.

For more information on Indian Superfast Trains, please go through the site www.headlinesindia.com.

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