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Indian Railway Zones

The Indian Railway network was established in the year 1853 but it was only in 1951 when the system was nationalized and put together as one unit.  It has been more than 60 years since its nationalization and has seen many developments in the period.  One of the most crucial developments in the system has been the establishment and clear bifurcation of Indian Railway Zones.  These zones were established to assign responsibilities to different people and clearly establish the point of responsibility, instead of letting one person look after the entire country which ran into approximately 114,500 of total tracks and 7,500 stations.

There are, in all, 17 zones which have been carved out for easy administration.  While there were only six zones before nationalization of the Indian railway network, the number escalated to eight in 1951, nine in 1952, sixteen in 2003 and finally seventeen in the year 2010.  These zones are further divided into divisions, with individual divisional headquarters.  There are, in all, sixty eight divisions of the Indian Railway.  It is only the Konkan Railway (KR) which is out of the purview of the Indian Railway Zones but a proposal to merge it with the rest of the system has already been made.

These zones were established to offer administrative ease to the Indian Railways.  However, with the increase in the freight, across the country, the number of zones had to go up and so had to be the case with their divisions too.  Today, the Indian Railways is experiencing unprecedented traffic, especially after the advent of its website, which offers e-booking.  The precision with which all the passengers are being handled and bookings are being processed are all because of the effective bifurcation of zones that was done in a futuristic manner.

Railway Zones Abbr. Year of Establishment
Central Zone CR 1951
Southern Zone SR 1951
Western Zone WR 1951
Eastern Zone ER 1952
North Eastern Zone NER 1952
Northern Zone NR 1952
South Eastern Zone SER 1955
Northeast Frontier Zone NFR 1958
South Central Zone SCR 1966
East Central Zone ECR 2002
North Western Zone NWR 2002
East Coast Zone ECoR 2003
North Central Zone NCR 2003
South East Central Zone SECR 2003
South Western Zone SWR 2003
West Central Zone WCR 2003
Kolkata Metro Zone KMR 2010


Railway Zones Headquarters Divisions
Central Zone Mumbai Mumbai, Bhusawal, Pune, Solapur, Nagpur
Southern Zone Chennai Chennai, Trichy, Madurai, Palakkad, Salem,Trivandrum(Thiruvananthapuram)
Western Zone Mumbai Mumbai Central, Ratlam, Ahmedabad, Rajkot,Bhavnagar,


Eastern Zone Kolkata Howrah, Sealdah, Asansol, Malda
North Eastern Zone Gorakhpur Izzatnagar, Lucknow, Varanasi
Northern Zone Delhi Delhi, Ambala, Firozpur, Lucknow, Moradabad
South Eastern Zone Kolkata Adra, Chakradharpur, Kharagpur, Ranchi
Northeast Frontier Zone Guwahati Alipurduar, Katihar, Rangia, Lumding, Tinsukia
South Central Zone Secunderabad Secunderabad, Hyderabad, Guntakal, Guntur,Nanded,


East Central Zone Hajipur Danapur, Dhanbad, Mughalsarai, Samastipur,Sonpur
North Western Zone Jaipur Jaipur, Ajmer, Bikaner, Jodhpur
East Coast Zone Bhubaneswar Khurda Road, Sambalpur, Visakhapatnam
North Central Zone Allahabad Allahabad, Agra, Jhansi
South East Central Zone Bilaspur Bilaspur, Raipur, Nagpur
South Western Zone Hubli Hubli, Bangalore, Mysore
West Central Zone Jabalpur Jabalpur, Bhopal, Kota
Kolkata Metro Zone Kolkata Kolkata

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