New Delhi, Feb 25 (IANS) Here are some details about the Indian Railways:
* Fourth largest railroad network in the world with some 64,460 route km, after the US (224,792), Russia (128,000) and China (112,00).
* Plies nearly 21,000 trains daily to ferry 23 million passengers and three million tonnes of freight.
* Network spans 29 states and three union territories via some 8,500 stations, as well as limited services to Nepal, Bangladesh and Pakistan.
* Network criss-crosses from Baramulla in Jammu and Kashmir in the north to Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu in the south, and from Ledo in Assam in the east to Naliya in Gujarat in the west.
* World’s seventh largest commercial employer by number of employees, with around 1.4 million employees.
* Uses four track gauge types – broad, standard, metre and two narrow gauges.
* The country’s first railway, built by the Great Indian Peninsula Railway, opened in 1853, between Bombay and Thane.
* The Bombay-Calcutta direct line, opened in 1870, provided part inspiration for French writer Jules Verne’s “Around the World in Eighty Days”.
* Among the metre or narrow gauge mountain railways of India, the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, the Nilgiri Mountain Railway and the Kalka-Shimla Railway are collectively designated as a Unesco World Heritage Site.