Can you guess how many passengers were carried by Indian railways in the fiscal year 18-19? It was a staggering 8.44 bn., which is more than the population of the world and that is the level at which Indian Railways operate. Today we bring you 10 amazing facts about Indian railways that you probably didn’t know.
Fact No. 1: The oldest steam locomotive
The Hogwarts Express looked really cool with all that steam in the Harry Potter movie. So does The Fairy Queen, a steam locomotive that was built in 1855. It was later restored in 1997. Wish we had our magic wand to completely restore it as it was in 1855. In 1998, it was listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s oldest steam locomotive in regular service. It still runs between Delhi & Rewari.
Fact No. 2: Longest platform in the world
Remember that iconic scene from DDLJ, where Kajol is running for 30 seconds straight on the platform to catch the train? Well, that platform was still not the longest one. The top three longest platforms in the world are in India. The longest is in Gorakpur which measures around 1.4 km. It is slightly less than half of the marine drive and can fit about 300 Tata Safaris in a line.
Fact No. 3: World’s highest railway bridge
A railway bridge is being built above the Chenab river in Jammu & Kashmir. It’s a 1.3 km long bridge with a height of 359 meters. It’s as tall as five times the size of Qutub Minar and even taller than the Eiffel tower.
Fact No. 4: One of the largest employer
You might be thinking that the largest employer must be one of the top IT firms in India. But they aren’t. Indian railway employs more than 13 lakh people. It is the second-largest employer in India following the Indian Military. Indian railway is also among the top 10 employers in the world.
Fact No. 5: 2 stations, one location, and 2 states, one station
What if someone is born on the boundary of a country, which country will he be a citizen of? Similar thing in the case of one of the stations in India. In Maharashtra’s Ahmednagar district, Belapur and Shrirampur are two different stations at the same location but on the opposite sides of the track.
On the other hand, Navapur railway station is located on the Gujarat-Maharashtra border. One half is in Maharashtra, the other half is in Gujarat.
Fact No. 6: One of the well-paid jobs
Locomotive drivers are paid well. The salaries start from 25-30k a month and go as high as 1.5-1.6 lakh a month. In some cases, a locomotive driver can have more salary than the Divisional Railway Managers. Overall, it is more than the average salary of a software engineer. But how come a train driver is paid so much when he just has to drive forward and backwards on a path, that’s already defined? Well, it’s not an easy job. They need to make sure the speeds are right with respect to the turns so that the train doesn’t derail while ensuring the safety of the passengers.
Fact No. 7: The Chaiya Chaiya Train
Heroes chase villains and fight with them on the train. Legends do a group dance on the train. The Ooty Nilgiri passenger train is the slowest train in India with an average speed of 10 km per hour. And this is the same train that you must have seen in the famous Bollywood song – Chaiya Chaiya.
Fact No. 8: One of the most beautiful trains in the world
If India still had kings and queens ruling the country, how would they travel? They probably would have had their own luxury trains. India has multiple luxury trains, of which, Maharaja Express is the most regarded one. The train has won ‘World’s leading luxury train’ for seven years straight. The train has a lounge, a bar, two dining cars, a dedicated bar car, and multiple options of suites. Some suites even have bathtubs, master bedroom, sitting & dining rooms, and all the luxuries that you can think of in a 5-Star hotel. That’s totally like ‘living life King size’ on trains.
Fact No. 9: Mascot of the Indian Railways
You must have seen a similar image or a statue like this at railway stations. It’s the mascot of the Indian railway, an elephant named Bholu. It was initially designed for the 150th anniversary of the Indian railways in 2002. Later in 2003, Indian railways decided to retain Bholu as its official mascot.
Fact No. 10: Busiest junction
Howrah Junction has 23 platforms, the highest number of platforms built on any railway station in India. With 974 arrivals and departures of 210 unique trains, Howrah Junction is the busiest junction in India.
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