Monday, April 11, 2016

I for Indian Railways

Welcome to the "Believe it or Not- That's Incredible India!" series. India is home to some of the most astonishing wonders in the world. The rich culture, heritage, food, scriptures, architectural marvels and scores of known and unknown facts come together to create this multicolored melange that is India. Throughout this month, read about the various believe it or not facts about India and know what goes into the making of this incredible country!


There’s hardly any Indian who hasn’t travelled by the Indian Railways. Before air travel became all too affordable, the train was the easiest way to get across the length and breadth of the country. In spite of the crowd, the trains running late, the fight for luggage space, the unending rounds of food being passed around - train travel in India is something you shouldn’t miss. The bonhomie, especially in long distance travel is unseen and unimaginable! How perfect strangers can become friends in a matter of minutes is something that beats any reasoning! Here are some interesting Railway facts. 

Diamond Crossing at Nagpur
Did you know that the Indian Railways employs 1.6 million people, carrying 13 million passengers and 1.3 million tons of freight every day?  An astounding 14,300 trains run along the 63,028 kilometers of tracks stopping at 7000 railway stations!! The rail route cuts through the bellies of huge mountains, along the scenic coastal belt, and across the biggest rivers, ferrying people to their destinations all year through. 

Oh, and did I mention that at the heart of India - in Nagpur, there's a place where the trains from North -South  and East - West converge. It's called the diamond crossing.

Here are some famous rail routes.

Pamban Bridge-
The Pamban Bridge

The most incredible train route would have to be the Pamban Bridge which connects the town of Rameshwaram on the Pamban Island to mainland India.  What’s amazing about the bridge is that it is a cantilever bridge which has a double leaf bascule section midway. The bridge is raised when a ship has to pass through.


 That’s not all. Cleaning the tracks and  maintaining it is an everyday task as the  bridge is built on water. It is prone to rusting  and being destroyed by heavy rainfall and  cyclones. A team of dedicated men walk the  entire distance checking for damage and  keeping it well maintained and they do this  every single day!

Doodhsagar railway route-

There are plenty of scenic rail travel routes, but this one takes the cake for being the king of them all. The railway bridge at the Doodhsagar falls on the Mandovi river in Goa is a breathtaking scene to behold!

What’s incredible is that the train actually stops at Doodhsagar – one of India’s tallest waterfalls – and allows visitors to disembark and enjoy the view of the cascading waterfall!

Mountain railways of India-

pixabay free images
Whether it is the Blue Mountain Express at the Nilgiris in Ooty, the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, the Kalka- Shimla Railway, Matheran Hill railway or the Kangra Valley Railway, these small trains running on narrow-gauge are a major attraction. 

The thrill of travelling along rugged and yet scenic mountainous landscape is incomparable and have been honoured collectively as one of UNESCOs world heritage sites.

Believe it or not – That’s Incredible India!

What’s your favorite route on the Indian Railways?


  1. Wonderful one.I even love the Karjat Lonavala Ghat section. One of the amazing views during Rainy season. Get to see many mini waterfalls, as you pass.

  2. These are such breath taking facts..!! I've traveled the Matheran route and it's spectacular. Indian Railways is the fifth largest railway network in the world and no matter how much we complaint about it, it is to an extent doing a wonderful job!


  3. Oh yes , there was a serial on Indian railways that has just concluded on bbc and it was an eye opener.
    My favourite route used to be Kalka to Howrah.. on Kalka mail.. it took 3 days to reach and WHat a ride it used to be .. in a train.. going through so many states nad places .. stop start :)


  4. ANd to add to your wonderful list is the recent Gatimaan express

  5. wow these are stunning rail networks. I haven't travelled in the train in a long time. I remember as a kid we used to cross Howrah Bridge ... everyone used to throw coins in the river :)

  6. Absolutely awe-inspiring stats! It is just that our country is too over-populated and so it is difficult to maintain standards, otherwise it is virtually unimaginable to handle operations at this scale! Another great post Shubhangi :)
    @KalaRavi16 from

  7. Incredible India indeed. I love train journeys Shubhangi, for the views, the non stop food and the feeling of time being suspended and oh the cradle like feel when we sleep :) Beautiful pics:) Btw Nagpur is my birthplace.

  8. I'd like to take a long train trip one day. Looks like India has some beautiful scenery. :-)

  9. Beautiful Post ! Honestly I love train Journeys. Every Journey has a beautiful Memory. There is something about Trains which keeps me attracted to them .

  10. The statistics are so impressive. I liked the Pamban and Doodsagar train routes you mentioned. Simply amazing!

  11. Wow! Those images are breathtaking. The last time I traveled via Indian railways was when I was in school. Too long! Hopefully I can go on another trip soon :)

  12. A friend of mine studied abroad in India recently, and gave a speech about it at a Saturday lunch some months back. She really enjoyed riding the trains, and that there are railcars for only women, with women guards. Though she was able to travel with the men in her group, she said the existence of the women-only cars made her feel safer.

    Welcome to My Magick Theatre
    Onomastics Outside the Box

  13. I have to go on the Pamban bridge, how awesome the view looks!

  14. Love the Mumbai-Pune route traveling in Deccan Queen and Pragati Express, past Mahabhaleshwar and Lonavla. Just love the dark tunnel. I mean, I know there are thousand routes and millions but wasn't aware of the figures. Incredible:)


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