The backbone of Indian travelling, Indian railways are the most common means of long distance travel in India has been offering services to the people of India for more than 150 years. IRCTC is the 4th largest railways network in the world is managed by the ministry of railways, government of India covers both length and breadth of India. Railways also made possible in speeding up the expansion of industry and crop growing. Transporting over 6 billion passengers and over 350 million tons of cargo annually, the Indian railway is also one of the largest commercial services employing more than 1.6 million people. Undoubtedly, the Indian railway has given the charge to run the rail network in India.
Indian railway is that cost effective mode of transport which enjoy preference over the public transport systems. It has proven to be the forerunner in the transport sector as the most convenient, affordable and well connected network. Maintaining superior safety standards, lower environmental hazard and low train fare, Indian railways has become the first choice for transfer goods and commodities.
Indian Railway Zones
Northern Indian Railways – It is one of the nine older zoned of Indian railways. New Delhi, the capital of India dole out as headquarters of this zone.
Southern Indian Railways – This Indian railway zone formed after independence. It was established on April 14, 1951 by combination of three states.
Eastern Indian Railways (ER) - The headquarters of this zone is in Kolkata but further divided into four division including Sealdah, Mald, Asansol and Howrah.
Western Indian Railways - This Indian railways zone is one of the most lively rail networks of the country which headquarters is situated in the metropolitan city ‘Mumbai’.
Central Indian Railways - This oldest zone of the Indian railway is the largest of the 16 zones figured by Indian railways.
Visiting any major destinations in India by train is always fun full. The passengers enjoy myriad experiences right from the departure and arrival. IRCTC of Indian railways innovates, introducing passenger-advantageous packages from time to time.
Indian railway provides you with the facility of booking train ticket online by irctc.co.in making the process of ticket reservation more instantaneous and simple. IRCTC provide two options to the passengers – i-tickets and e-tickets. If they pick i-ticket option, the rail ticket will be delivered to your doorstep by courier. The passengers are having facility to select cities across India. As far as e-ticket is concerned, you can save it downloading from internet visiting its website and taking a print out. IRCTC mobile enables you to book your tickets and perform various other services through your handset. To avail this service, your phone should have a GPRS connection.
Indian Railway PNR - Passenger Name Record (PNR) is a travel record of a person or group that is stored in Railway computerized reservation system. The ten digit number written on the top left corner of the rail ticket allows you to check the current status of reservation using it. You can discover the confirmed, waiting or in RAC status by using reservation status tool.
Indian Railway Accommodation Classes
Passengers traveling with Indian railways are having many choices in terms of class including AC first class (1A), AC 2nd class (2A), AC 3rd class (3A), AC three tier (Economy) (3E), sleeper class (SL), AC chair car (CC), seater class (2S) and Unreserved class (UR) etc.
Indian Railways Luxury Trains
The Indian railways promote rail tourism. Currently, IRCTC offers four luxury tourist train packages and in plan to launch more in the near future. The trains which are functional today are as following:
IRCTC General, Tatkal & Ladies Quota Booking
IRCTC has several type of booking faculties including IRCTC General, Tatkal & ladies quota booking. The ladies quota facility provided to the ladies passengers from 2011 itself. However, Tatkal booking is meant for travelers who have not booked in advance and find that tickets have been sold out. This type of booking service is available for all classes of travel except AC first class and executive class. As this type of booking have particular number of seats so tatkal quota and tickets are given on first come first basis and one can buy the ticket through IRCTC in lieu of a premium payment. Passengers are not allowed any cancellation or modification on this type of tickets. IRCTC as well has provisions for discounted tickets for senior citizen and railway's employees etc. Facility to make payment using cash cards, debit cards and credit cards etc are also provided to the passengers.
Thus, Indian railways form the heart of the rail infrastructure in India, running majority of the country’s rail transport and infrastructure.